Rescue Looks After Cancer Patient’s Senior Dogs So She Can Receive Treatment

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All dogs deserves to live in a loving home and have a warm bed to sleep in each night. This includes seniors and the terminally ill. No dog should have to spend the remainder of their life in a shelter. A kind-hearted woman saw the need to rescue and provide a loving environment for old and ill dogs, so she started an animal rescue.

Kristen Peralta, founder of Vintage Pet Rescue, has a hard time saying no to dogs in need. She received a call from a woman named Linda with four senior chihuahuas, known as “The Doodles”, that needed help. Linda was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and arrived in Rhode Island to receive treatment while staying with her sister. She was unable to keep the dogs at the home, but did not want the dogs to be separated.


Vintage Pet Rescue is “a retirement home for senior dogs and hospice dogs.” Peralta rescues senior and ill dogs from the shelter and provides them with a warm bed and two meals a day for the rest of their lives. They are seen and treated by a vet, as well. Each dog receives unlimited cuddling and outdoor time.

Peralta agreed to take in the dogs and look after them while Linda received treatment. Linda was relieved to finally have found a loving place for her babies. She missed them but visited regularly. Linda’s four dogs — Scaredy, 16, Brewsy, 14, Suzy, 14, and Runty, 14 — adjusted well to their new environment but looked forward to seeing their mom.

After receiving her diagnosis, Linda tells People her concern was for her senior dogs. “I was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in March of this year. I was told that I would die if I stayed in Ft. Lauderdale because I had no support network, so I decided to move up to Rhode Island to stay with my sister. Unfortunately, I was unable to keep my four senior Chihuahuas at my sister’s house. We both began to search for rescues that wouldn’t euthanize or separate my dogs. We each found one. Amazingly, we found the same one, Vintage Pet Rescue, which was only a few miles from my sister’s house. But, I was still worried.”

Her worries have subsided now that she has met the friendly staff. She is delighted that the dogs are not kept in cages but able to roam freely. All of her dogs are together and well cared for. “I started out visiting the dogs every other day which was wonderful. Kristen accommodated me with my schedule and the dogs there are all happy, loved and taken care of better than I can do myself.”


When Linda is unable to visit, she calls the rescue to check-in on the seniors. However, when she does visit, the dogs go wild. “They will jump all over her and give her kisses and then just lay next to her. All the other pups will try to get some attention too, so Linda usually has six or seven dogs on her lap during her visits,” recalls Peralta.

Linda is currently going through chemotherapy and cherishes the time she spends with her four dogs. Recently, she was able to take her oldest dog, Scaredy, home to stay with her. The little dog is comforting and providing his own therapy for his mom when she needs it most. However, Scaredy fell ill at the same time that his mom entered the hospital.


“Scaredy, who had been staying with me at my sister’s house, got very sick and I had to go into the hospital at the same time. I was scared I was going to lose him. Kristen took him to multiple vet visits, paid for an expensive surgery and nursed him back to health. He’s doing better than ever now!” Linda said.

Linda is so thankful for the rescue and all the amazing care they are providing to her fur babies. She praises the founder of the rescue with, “There are no words to describe her kindness and her amazing ability to take care of them all and love them all. I could say I have great respect and love this amazing woman.”

Vintage Pet Rescue will continue to look after and care for “The Doodles” until Linda is back on her feet. Then the senior dogs will be reunited with their mom.

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Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast who lives in West Michigan. Her horse and 3 dogs are her children. She loves to write and share her knowledge of equine and canine nutrition. In her spare time she likes to volunteer with animal rescues, camp with her husband and dogs, and trail ride with her horse.
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