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Forever Dreams Senior Dog Sanctuary: A Hospice and a Rescue in a House

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

When Verna Wilkins started Forever Dreams Senior Dog Sanctuary in her Tryon home back in 2015, she didn’t really know what she was getting into. A lifelong lover of senior dogs of all shapes and sizes, she planned to rescue a few small dogs and keep them in her home through their last years. Now, she has 20 furry guests, give or take, on any given day. “Ideally,” she says, “I’d like to re-home a few.”

Her oldest resident is Champ, a beagle who recently turned 21. As the senior dog in the Forever Dreams Senior Dog Sanctuary, he is responsible for keeping order among the troops. That’s never easy, of course, but it would be impossible at feeding time if each of the dogs wasn’t served in its own crate, aka “bedroom,” when the old clock on the wall strikes “feeding.”

Mr. Minit, the cover dog, is an Applehead Chihuahua, as opposed to one of the other six varieties. (For those who don’t know, they are the Smooth Coat Chihuahua, the Long Coat Chihuahua, the Deer Head Chihuahua, the Teacup Chihuahua, the Fawn Chihuahua, and the Hairless Chihuahua.) Mr. Minit is a mere 10 ½ years old – in human years – and one of Wilkins’ favorite furry friends. As such, he will definitely stay with her as a hospice resident until it’s time to go to Rainbow Bridge. As Wilkins put it, “He has definitely retired here.”

Wilkins says she had rescued 400 dogs through the end of 2015 and re-homed 175 of them. Even though her focus is on providing hospice care for the dogs she rescues, there are limits to what she can do by herself. She admits she could really use some volunteer help and some donations to keep up with the upkeep of her home/hospice. “We need a new roof,” she says.

Forever Dream Senior Dog Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization. To find out more about it, to donate, or to meet an adoptable small dog that could become yours, visit, find them on Facebook, or call Verna Wilkins at 828 817-0859 and tell her PetGazette sent you.


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