Senior dogs find new home with Grey Whiskers Rescue
January 3, 2018
As a dog aficionado and outdoor lover, RoxAnn Jeppesen's dream has always been to live in the mountains, surrounded by furry four-legged friends.
Jeppesen has worked with dogs since 1997 as a trainer, but had to step away from her business after a severe car accident left her unable to maintain her role. She continued to be deeply involved with the pet community, though, fostering and rescuing dogs in need of a better home, with the hopes of one day opening a rescue organization.
About two years ago, Jeppesen and her husband, Brett, realized their passion when they put their entire life savings toward purchasing a property in Peoa to start a small rescue organization that caters to ailing, senior dogs: Grey Whiskers Rescue. The organization received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status about six months ago.
"The down and dirty of what it means to foster senior dogs is you love them and then you have to say goodbye," she said. "It's beautiful and hard at the same time."
Jeppesen said her goal with Grey Whiskers Rescue is to provide foster homes for aging senior dogs to keep them out of the shelters or to ease the burden for owners who are no longer able to care for their animals as medical issues arise.
"There are people who have loving homes, but they just don't have the money and can't afford that kind of care," she said. "So we will help take care of those dogs and keep them out of the shelter. We see a lot get dropped off because of tumors or health issues."
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Jeppesen and her husband, along with the help of Christi Johnson, development director for the Grey Whiskers Rescue, are currently caring for about five senior dogs at the Jeppesen's home.
But, Grey Whiskers Rescue is ready to expand its foster base, build a veterinary care fund and bring in more rescues, Jeppesen said. The vet care fund will pay for all medical costs for foster dogs once they are placed with families. She added, "All the families have to do is love them."
To help build the fund, Grey Whiskers Rescue is partnering with the Viking Yurt at Park City Mountain Resort on Jan. 15 for an intimate five-course dinner charitable event for up to 40 people. The Viking Yurt will donate all of the proceeds from that evening to the Grey Whiskers Rescue, according to owner Joy Vik. Grey Whiskers is now accepting reservations on behalf of the Viking Yurt.
"They need so much of that money," Vik said. "In the past, the Viking Yurt has always just donated certificates to charitable events, but I wanted one night where all that money was all about the dog rescue. When I got the email, and I get so many each week, I was like I have never heard of them, and once I looked them up my heart just melted. I was like, 'This is our event.'
"This will be a huge chunk of change for her to jumpstart the vet fund," she added. "I just want people in this town to be aware of her organization because a lot of people can't have the responsibility of having an old dog in their home."
Jeppesen said she has been overwhelmed by the Park City community's generosity, especially Vik's.
"The community in Park City is mind-blowingly helpful and nice, and they make my heart grow like five sizes bigger," she said through tears. "We've just tried to step our toes in the water, figuring we would just squeak by for a little bit, but it has been an amazing start."
For more information about the Grey Whiskers Ranch or the Jan. 15 event, go to https://greywhiskersrescue.com/.
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