ADOPTING SENIORS: Giving Lela a Chance

Lela spent most of her life with other dog friends at SARA Sanctuary in Texas. Recently, some senior dogs have benefitted from working from home arrangements by becoming a second companion dog. Lela is one of those very chill seniors.

Lela was part of a dog swap partnership with Chicago rescue organizations and SARA. After a few months in foster care at ALIVE Rescue, Lela was adopted by Laura and Ben in Chicago. In her own words and photos, Laura explains the charm and perks of senior dogs and why we should all be snatching them up. 


“I follow many shelters in Chicago on social media, and my newsfeeds are filled with dogs waiting for their forever homes. I found ALIVE Rescue one day, and admired their commitment to taking in animals from shelters with high euthanasia rates, as well as animals that other adoption organizations may overlook like seniors, unpopular breeds, pets with special needs, etc. I’m a real sucker for all animals, especially dogs, and found this to be incredibly admirable.”


Lela popped up on my Facebook feed three times before we finally applied to adopt her. The first time, back in November 2020, was when she had just moved to Chicago with ALIVE Rescue. I immediately showed the post to my fiance, Ben, and our hearts shattered reading that she had spent nearly her entire life at the sanctuary.”

“While we are always thankful to establishments like SARA Sanctuary that give animals a place to live out their lives in peace and comfort, I couldn’t help but wonder why Lela has never been adopted. She looked so sweet – and I couldn’t get her out of my head, but we weren’t ready for another dog.”

“But then… ALIVE posted her a couple more times on Facebook, and after the third time, we finally decided we needed her as part of our family.”


“Lela is a total goofball. She’s always climbing on top of boxes as if she’s making a proclamation. She also gets excessively excited when it’s time to go for a walk – stampeding down the hallway, flailing around as if she’s whipping herself through the air. It’s like zoomies on steroids.”


“Lela is the perfect dog for us. Frankly, we think one of the best things about her is her relationship with Khalie. Khalie had been an only child for her entire life (13 years), so we were a bit worried about how she would react to her new sister.”

“Lela’s calm, relaxed demeaner has made it so easy for Khalie to accept – and even adore – her new sister. The two love to snooze together, sniff the same sniffs. And by that I mean, if Lela sees Khalie sniffing something good, Lela will barge over to see what the big deal is.”

“Khalie has even recently began to nudge, tease, and paw at Lela to get her to play! For Khalie, that’s a big deal, but it’s all the evidence we need to show how much they really love each other.”


Lela is 11 years old with a whole lot of spunk. With another 13 year old dog already in the house, we knew that if we were to welcome another dog to our home, it would have to match the energy of our first one.”

“What we love about Lela, and what is so amazing about adopting any senior dog, is that they’re typically much more relaxed and have outgrown that crazy puppy energy. While it can be fun and rewarding to watch a puppy grow up, that also comes with a lot of work, time, and effort.”

“Lela has adjusted so well, and so quickly, to our home and lifestyle. She’s behaved, potty trained, and takes basic commands. She doesn’t mind snoozing during the day while we work. And, above all else, knowing that we saved a life that so many other people would overlook is powerful beyond words.”


I want to emphasize how thankful we are to not only ALIVE for trusting us with Lela’s life, but to SARA for giving her a chance, and also to Katherine and Mark, Lela’s foster parents prior to the adoption. Katherine and Mark fostered Lela for six amazing months, and were unbelievably helpful in getting her acclimated to our home.”

“Lela still sleeps with the blanket from Katherine and Mark, and plays with her favorite stuffed alligator they gave her. What’s more, we’ve grown to develop a wonderful friendship with the two of them, attesting to the fact that dogs are truly magical creatures; they bring good people together.”


To help Texas-friendly dogs like Lela, SARA Sanctuary partners with several animal rescues in Chicago, Wisconsin, California, Florida and even internationally with Lebanon. Find out how our partnerships are getting Texas dogs adopted in other states: How dog swaps help animal rescues.


SENIOR DUKE: Trailer house to Penthouse

FOSTER FAIL: It’s Not Rocket Science

THE DIVINE MS. MIAMI: The Reason to Adopt Senior Dogs

Thank you for joining Patreon to help lovable dogs like Lela.

Learn more and follow us on the socials: ALIVE Rescue & SARA Sanctuary.


Again, SARA is looking for a new foster family to help the 5 orphaned kittens found in San Antonio. We’ve had a great week of support from Briana and Justin who took turns getting up every 2 hours. It’s time for a break and to share the workload of getting these kittens stronger. 


The feeding schedule gets extended with each week of growth. This week the kittens need your help with eating every 3 hours. See the feeding schedule from the Kitten Lady.

Proposed line up for fosters in the San Antonio area:

2 weeks old: Aug 23 – Sept 29  
3 weeks old: Aug 29 – Sept 5
4 weeks old: Sep 5 – Sept 12
5 weeks old: Sept 12 – Sept 19
6 weeks old: Sept 19 – Sept 26 

On Tuesday August 17, Briana took the kittens to the vet because the smallest one wasn’t eating very well and was making a strange rumbling noise. We thought the kitten might have aspirated milk, but the lungs were fine. The kitten was full of gas though. Seems to be eating better, less gas.

The vet thought the kittens were less than a week old for various reasons, but the main one being that their eyes were all still closed. Newborn kittens’ eyes start opening from 7-10 days. During the weekend, Briana started seeing some eyes.

If you have questions and want to volunteer to help for one or more of the weeks mentioned, please contact us as soon as possible.


SARA was contacted by a couple of volunteers to take on the newborn orphaned kitten feeding. Amy just handed off the feeding duties to Briana & her fiancé which will allow the feeding schedule to continue. Amy let Briana keep their blue blanket. 

Thanks so much to both Amy & Briana for taking on this project to save these kittens. And high five to our SARA friends network for stepping up and sharing this post.

If you would like to foster a SARA kitten or cat, fill out the application on our Adoption page. Just let us know it is for temporary fostering.   


Do you need a hobby for a few weeks? We are reaching out to our local network for some kitten foster families.

A SARA friend Amy has reached out for help with 5 brand new orphaned kittens. Amy’s family found the kittens and after checking on them, the mother did not coming back. We don’t know more. We just want to put out the word to find some foster parents as soon as possible. 

These newborn kittens need to be fed with a nippled syringe every few hours. Amy has started them on the syringe this weekend and is following Tracy’s instructions to be super careful about not getting milk into their nostrils so they don’t aspirate.

Amy wraps the kittens in a cloth while feeding them to keep them still, comfortable and focused on eating.

Amy has to go back to work Monday August 16 and won’t be able to keep up the feeding schedule that the kitten’s need. Yes, she has tried to find a spot at all the local shelters and animal care services in surrounding counties. Everyone is beyond full and stretched with small crews who are pushed to their limits, like SARA.

Do you know someone who loves kittens, can commit to a feeding schedule, and is in the San Antonio area?


We leaned on information from the Kitten Lady online to make instructions easy to follow. Even if you cannot foster, you can see how involved orphaned kitten care is.




The KittenLady has a list of supplies which should be readily available at a local pet store and online with Amazon.

Thanks for being a foster hunter for kittens. Amy has done some great work to save them and keep them alive. We need support to get them big and healthy.


Thanks Patreon community.
This is a public, shareable post.
We will keep you updated here on this post or in the comments. 

Dog of the Month: Azule

Meet shiny, happy Azule. He is young fella but already has laugh wrinkles even though…

In June, Azule was picked up by an animal control officer along a stretch of south Texas highway. He was found next to the body of another dog who had been hit and killed by a car. 

Azule’s dog buddy was badly decomposed so no telling how many days he stayed there guarding his friend. The officer spent over two hours and part of her lunch to gain Azule’s trust so she could help him.

Dog handler Chris says Azule is doing well at SARA, loves to learn and is being playful with different toys. He will go in for neutering soon. With time to heal emotionally, he will be ready to find a kind family of his own.


Azule has been a loyal friend and could use a truly loyal pal in his corner. We have a great compassion for Azule and his story. That’s just a few reasons Azule is dog of the month.


Check out our new adoption page. We are making improvements and adding loveable, adoptable animals all the time.

Thanks for joining Patreon.

Your loyal support is helping dogs like Azule who deserves some loyalty in their lives.

UPDATE: Rooster Coop Build in July – Aug 2021

Re-Coop on Saturday August 21. We have 3 kinds of ways to volunteer:

  • Volunteer to Build
  • Volunteer to Clean
  • Volunteer to Make Vegan Lunch

Signup to save a spot here:


This will be our 3rd Saturday working on the Rooster Resort. The progress may seem slow, but this is a very steady structure, well-built with love and will last for years to come. Thanks for all the commitment and early risers.


Rome and our rooster coop weren’t built in a day. But we have the skeleton and poles planted. A solid structure and excellent start thanks to our early rising SARA volunteers.

SARA volunteer Breanna on the saw horse.

Below is Ben and his drawing which sparked the plan to build the new connecting rooster coops.

And here’s where we are after a morning with 15 volunteers to launch the project.

We don’t have to tell you that it’s hot. We’ll let Jacob illustrate how he cooled off on volunteer day.

We’ve invited those willing and able to return next weekend to add to the progress.

For sure, the coop should be level. Ben double checked all the work.


Puppy hugging was required to recharge and for photo ops. Christina is a SARA hype person on Instagram.


Sounds like a rock band name. Peanut the rescued show pig got a lot of attention today, but he also knows how to work the crowd. And, SARA volunteer Maria played while curious pigs wagged tails to the music.

Watch the potbellies react to music on SARA’s TikTok.

Left to Right: Spiro, Ben, Chris, Tony & Jason


Building a rooster coop is an additional task above and beyond normal, very physical, very hot sanctuary activities.

We truly appreciate EVERYONE volunteering to sweat it out with us. Thanks for your support in making the sanctuary a better place for our animals.

Watch for a more volunteer signups coming soon for the rooster coop and other projects.

Motivational short video: SARA Roosters on TikTok.

PUPDATE: Lucy’s 8 adoptable puppies

Lucy’s pups are growing and so is everyone’s interest in finding forever families! In the last week of July, the puppies will be spayed and neutered. We are also showcasing the puppies on Instagram & Facebook to find more eyeballs for homes or fosters.

These little ones will grow to be medium-sized dogs. Half of them have grown taller with longer legs and the other half are short like Lucy.

See more puppy photos & more adoptables on our new adoption page:

We received our first application over the weekend for Ross. That’s a big test for our new database of adoptables. The good news is the adoption pages are working. We need some more rules, visitation times and other details on the website to make all the information clear and easy to move through the process.

But, the most important thing is to get their faces and stories out there. Now we just need more applications and more families that are fabulous fits for more adoptions.

Lucy hitched a ride with our shelter partners in Chicago. She did an awesome job taking care of 8 puppies. She is now getting some much needed rest with her new foster family. Whew! Thank you so much, Mama Lucy. You did your job. You’re a good dog and we hope you find a loving family as soon as possible.

Thank you too! We are gaining more Patreons each month which helps us save and take care of more puppies. Share the puppies or hit APPLY to start the process for an adoption visit.

ADOPTABLES: Lucy & Her 8 Colorful Pups

DOG VLOG: From Beirut to Seguin
(includes a recent video of the puppies)

DOG VLOG: From Beirut to Seguin

Sneak peek about SARA animals...

Houston is in Texas! Houston is a young German Shepherd who arrived in Seguin from Beirut, Lebanon in July 2021....

To view this content, you must be a member of SARA's Patreon at $1 or more

DOG VLOG: Adoptable Max gets saved

SARA tries to save as many animals as possible, when possible. SARA Animal Helper Heidi spotted a plea for a dog in great need and decided to jump in and help a starving and forgotten Max. Heidi tells Max’s story and shares some photos of his improvements while at SARA.

“May 24, 2021 was Max’s Miracle day. On this day, Max’s picture was displayed on a private facebook group for dog moms with a heading entitled *****HELP*****. This post was listed for less than 24 hours before it was taken down by the group. Graciously, this was enough time to catch my eye.”

“The post contained two pictures of a pitiful dog made up of skin and bones attempting to drink out of an empty dish and crouched inside a crate. Under the heading ‘HELP’, was the plea of a concerned neighbor desperately trying to find someone willing to take him off the owner’s hands. The owners had stated that if the dog did not get picked up, they would be getting him euthanized.”

“I got the okay from our sanctuary owner, Tracy, and just two days later, I picked Max up with the help of my friend and brought him to SARA.”

“Max’s condition was shocking. He was so thirsty when we picked him up that he lunged for my coffee cup and a container of water trying to sip up every drop while in the car. We pulled over at a gas station and poured bottles of water into a bucket for Max which he drank dry.”

“When we arrived at the sanctuary, we unloaded Max and a large bag of pit-bull breed dog food donated by his previous owners. Max nosedived into the kibble as soon as it hit the dish and lick it clean within seconds. As if the starvation and dehydration weren’t enough, Max was also suffering from mange that covered his face, chest and most of his body. We had our work cut out for us!”

“In the short time that Max has been at SARA, he has made huge strides in recovery. His ribs no longer painfully protrude and his weekly baths are paying off. He adores his pen-mate Regan and welcomes staff at the pen door with a sloppy tongue and wagging tail.”  

“Max is fun loving, good-natured and seems to have the ability to put a smile on the face of anyone who looks his way. Although he looks like a different dog than the one who arrived, I know his sweet personality is nothing new.”

“Max arrived loving and trusting and it is a shame to know he was so mistreated. I, along with the rest of the staff at SARA, are thankful to have supporters who donate time, money, gifts, and spread good news about all that SARA is accomplishing. These things help dogs like Max find safety and a place to receive love. Max is a miracle that SARA is thankful to have received.”

Heidi not only saved Max, but has helped SARA Sanctuary create our adoption pages by uploading all the dogs, cats, photos and details to help more animals get adopted. If you’ve fallen in love with Max and his story, you can find him and other dogs and cats on our new adoption pages.

Thank you for supporting SARA monthly so we can help more animals like Max get some deserved attention and find a family that will treat SARA animals kindly. 

CATTERY: Animal Care League & SARA

Sneak peek about SARA animals...

We have a partnership with several shelters across the country which allows us to swap animals. SARA takes 1 unadoptable...

To view this content, you must be a member of SARA's Patreon at $1 or more