Lifestyle & Human Interest

There's a Retirement Home for Elderly Animals Called 'The Little Old Ones' & My Heart Is Melting


Old dogs are meant to live out their days in peace surrounded by the family they’ve spent their lives with. But through no fault of their own, oftentimes that is not possible.

It’s not just dogs, either, that need a little tenderness in their older age but sometimes don’t find it. All animals, like people, grow old. But many times, the older they get, the less useful their owners find them — especially for farm animals.

Sometimes they become expensive to manage, and their owners have a difficult time caring for them. But old critters of every sort are routinely passed up at adoption events — so what are they supposed to do?

One woman and her husband answered that question in 2000 when they opened up a home for old, “unadoptable” animals. They called it “Les Petits Vieux,” or “The Little Old Ones.”

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Valerie and Serge Luycx wanted to make a home for critters who had lost their own. They believed that animals in their twilight years deserve to feel the warmth and comfort of a real family.

“We wanted to recreate family life for the animals,” she said, according to the BBC.

So they did. On a farm in south Belgium, the couple set out to make a house a home.

Now they have over 150 animals in their care. The animals are never caged in small areas and are free to go where they please. There are dogs indoors, spending most of their time on soft couches, and cats wander as cats are wont to do.

There are large pens outdoors for goats, sheep, pigs, and horses — all with room to roam and shelters to protect their inhabitants from the elements.

They open up the refuge on Fridays and Saturdays for a few hours so that individuals can come in and visit the critters, and they take larger groups by appointment.

Their Facebook page states that “‘Les Petits Vieux’ is an association whose goal is to welcome old dogs and cats that would have no chance of being adopted in a shelter.
Our home tries to give back to those left behind, the comfort, the care and the affection which are due to them.”

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They also offer sponsorships for people who would like to fund an animal’s last days of peace on the farm, in order to help them continue their mission. Sponsors receive a newsletter, photos of their “godchild,” and Christmas wish lists.

In a world that constantly favors youth, efficiency, and busyness, these animals have found a safe haven in the care of a loving couple who know where life’s value truly comes from.

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