GRASS is not your typical retirement home.
Its acronym stands for Golden Retriever Acres Senior Sanctuary, and it’s just what it sounds like — a rescue where aging dogs, found as strays or abandoned by their owners — can either find new, loving forever homes or live out their lives feeling healthy and cared-for.
“In 2012, we were founded as a rescue sanctuary for golden retrievers that are seniors, abandoned, abused, owner surrendered,” manager Josh Radliff told Click2 Houston. At the home, “they can live their lives out in peace and happiness.”
“This place is heaven for older dogs. They are not in cages, they get to run free.” said Kathy Billig of the organization. Billig works for a different rescue, Golden Beginnings, with a focus on younger dogs. These two groups often pair to help one another place and rescue dogs.
Right now, though the rescue, located in Harvey-ravaged Spring, TX, needs help, having suffered major damage during the storm.
“It was scary. The water rose so quick that by 11 in the morning, it was waist deep in this house,” Radliff told reporters. “We had all dogs brought to the front of the neighborhood and they were picked up by their fosters.”
Volunteers have helped in the wake of the storm, with fosters taking in dogs, but the building and grounds are in need of repair.
The main house features eight bedrooms, a large backyard serves as the dogs’ exercise and play area. It has fire hydrants and log cabins for the pups. Staffers would like to raise these cabins up by three feet, to keep them safe in the event of another flood.
GRASS dedicates two bedrooms to hospice care.
“Those are the ones we know will pass soon, so that way at any point I can keep an eye on them with the camera system that I have and I can be attending the passing,” Radliff said. His life is dedicated to seeing these dogs through to the end of their stories with love.
“We will not allow a dog to pass alone. So, I am present during every one,” Radliff tearfully said. “I deal with it often, but it’s rewarding. Just knowing that dog had a golden year, golden month, weeks or days makes everything worth it. And when they are rehabilitated and re-homed and they find a forever home where they are loved and cared for, that is the most fulfilling feeling I have ever had.”
“We have a saying here that grey is golden. Most of these dogs have had a grey beginning but they will have a golden ending.”
While GRASS’ residents are staying with fosters until the repairs are able to be made, they are all always up for adoption. Please check out their wonderful roster of available dogs here.
If you’d like to help GRASS’ efforts to rebuild, visit their GoFundMepage.