NewsCovering Kern County


New Hope for Old Dogs at Camp Golden Years

Posted at 4:22 AM, Aug 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-21 10:34:44-04

TEHACHAPI, Calif. — It can be a challenge for shelter dogs to find a 'furever' home, and that's especially the case if they are senior aged. Thanks to Camp Golden Years, old dogs are now finding new hope.

"When you are picking up a dog at the shelter, you are kind of thinking long term. So a lot of these dogs just get passed up which is really unfortunate because to be honest with you they are just great dogs,” said founder of Camp Golden Years Joel Rockey.

But the senior dogs at Camp Golden Years still have something to wag about.

“Camp golden years is like their fort or something. They are allowed to pee on whatever they want including me,” said Rockey.

Joel Rockey is the leader of the pack. He calls himself their 'drool sergeant.' After serving his country in Iraq and Afghanistan, his mission these days is a bit different.

While younger dogs and puppies have a 60% adoption rate, according to the ASPCA, senior dogs have a 25% adoption rate.

Rockey opened up Camp Golden Years about a year ago and has since hosted about a hundred senior aged dogs in what he says is a lot like a retirement home--or dog house.

“People come in here all day and pickup after them, pet them, feed them, they will clean them," said Rockey. "They just have a good time here. So every time you come back here it's just kind of like a party.”

But the goal isn't for them to stay here forever.

“Every dog you see here is adoptable," said Rockey. "We basically show their character out there to the world and hopefully they get adopted.”

The dogs are adoptable through Marley's Mutts and Vet Friends Foundation.

You can find more information on Camp Golden Years here.