senior dogs
Magnolia is one of four senior dogs that the Lake County Animal Shelter needs homes for.

TAVARES – Is there room in your home for a Ladybug? How about a Magnolia?

No, this isn’t about insects or plants. It’s about older dogs that don’t have a home – but very much need one.

The Lake County Animal Shelter is now looking for homes for several senior dogs, including ones they’ve named Magnolia, Ladybug, Shela, and Suki.

Elisha Pappacoda, the public information officer for the Lake County government, which oversees the shelter, said this is a special request at a time when the shelter in Tavares is undergoing some needed changes.

“The shelter is currently undergoing some remodeling, and we have a few special senior pups who would benefit from staying in a comfortable, safe home rather than returning to the kennels at this time,” Pappacoda noted in an email about the adoptions.

The four dogs, she noted, are available for adoption, or for short-time foster homes, or even “a shelter break sleepover – a short-term foster program that allows the public to enjoy the company of one of our dogs temporarily while giving them a much needed break from shelter life,” she noted. “Small commitment. Big impact. Lots of love!”

The pets include:

· Magnolia, a “super senior and what a story she has to tell,” Pappacoda noted. This dog is nearly 15 years old, and was discovered battling for her life because she’d fallen into and was drowning in a pond when a Lake County Sheriff’s Office animal enforcement officer rescued her. Despite that, “this gal still has some fight left in her. In fact, She is quiet and laid back, and sometimes a little bit slow,” Pappacoda noted. “Hey, you would be too if you were 110 in dog years!”

· Shela came into the shelter as a stray last September, but so far no one has claimed this dog, which Pappacoda said is mild mannered, an estimated to be a lab mix, about 9 years old. “There is nothing like the sweet soul of an old dog,” she noted. “Shela was sound asleep when we went to take her beauty shot, and we just didn’t have the heart to wake her. We think she just needs a little TLC to get some spring back in her step.”

Shela came to the Lake County Animal Shelter last September.


Ladybug was returned to the shelter despite once having a home.
Ladybug was turned into the shelter when her owner became homeless and lost everything. “Seniors sleep a lot, but when Lady Bug is awake, she’s a wiggle worm who loves everyone — except cats,” Pappacoda noted. “Let’s help this little lady find her fur-ever home so she never has to worry again about where she will lay her precious head.”

· Suki is a female, senior chow mix who got returned to the shelter after having been adopted just last year, because her owner said the family’s other dogs were attacking her as the weakest of the pack. The shelter’s veterinarian reported that Suki has a skin condition that is treatable dermatitis, and that it’s not contagious. “Can you find it in your heart to nurse sweet Suki back to health, so she may look and feel like a brand new dog in her new ‘after’ photo?” Pappacoda asked.

Suki is a senior chow mix.

To learn more, visit the Lake County Animal Shelter at 28123 County Road 561, Tavares, or call 352-343-9688.

For the most up-to-date information and photos of adoptable animals, follow the shelter on Facebook and on Twitter.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Bloody Rabbit”. Contact him at

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