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Minn. Woman Gives Hope To Older, Unwanted Dogs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- When pet owners decide to add to their family, younger animals usually are the first to find new homes. For dog lovers, elderly dogs are often overlooked, but a New Germany woman is trying to change that.

Everyday Jean Beuning, the owner of Top Dog Country Club, is met by man's best friend.

"Dogs are my world," she says. "I've loved them since I could walk."

It's her love of dogs that pushed Beuning towards a new venture in K-9 care. She started a rescue effort called the Top Dog Foundation for dogs that may be past their prime.

"The seniors, when they are in shelters, aren't the first selected," Beuning said.

Through the Top Dog Foundation, Beuning and her staff find families for elderly dogs who would otherwise be put down if they aren't adopted.

Age makes it a tough sell for potential pet owner because of medical issues. Another concern before adoption is: How much life does the dog have left?

"Whether you have 10 years or two years, you have time, be it short or long, to exchange love and have value for each other," said John Bradford, of Top Dog Foundation.

Adopting a senior dog does have its advantages. Often times, the animal is already house trained, they understand commands and they are more appreciative of their new home.

"The dogs I've had since puppies have always known they're spoiled and don't get the difference; but the ones I've rescued really get it, and they're grateful," Beuning said.

There's an old saying that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but you can give them a second chance.

"I think the dog gives to the people and the people give to the dog," Bradford said. "And you never quite know who gives the most."
The Top Dog foundation fosters the animals until they find a home, unless medical reasons force them to be put down. Beuning is hoping to build a sanctuary for dogs to live out their days on her property.

For more information on adopting a dog, go to

Beuning says one nice quality of older dogs is that they are easy.


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