HAYMARKET, VA. (WUSA9) - In this part of the country, it's common knowledge that many older people move South to retire. But there's one spot in Haymarket, Va. where many elderly from the south are flocking. Elderly dogs, that is.
These elderly moved north to Debbie Gretz' home in Haymarket, Va. from rescue shelters in the south. Due to their age, or health, many won't be adopted and will live out the rest of their lives at Gretz' shelter and sanctuary. It's called Gray Face Acres. You could call it a retirement community for rescues.
"Our goal is to help as many senior dogs as we can, mostly trying to take them out of a lot of rural shelters but we also work with some in Maryland, D.C. and Alexandria, Virginia. I feel like some of them we literally did take off of death's door," said Gretz.
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Meet some of the crew. There's Demi, Bernie and Lizzybear, and Gracie. Debbie says Gracie is doing great now, but she wasn't always doing so great.
"Gracie was found laying on the side of the road, they thought she was a dead dog they were picking up, she was a little bag of bones this was almost two years ago," she said.
TInkerbell is a 12-year-old Yorkie,.
"Her momma couldn't take care of her for a little while, I don't know if mom will come back or what. We're just taking care of her for now," she said. "She just gets a long with the whole group."
The whole group is about 20 dogs strong right now. Debbie says it all started with a little pug she got as a puppy 13 years ago. She wanted a friend for him, so she went to a rescue group. She started volunteering and fostering.
Debbie says she and her husband are proud.
"We made this, my husband and I did. And he's so supportive, I think he's thought I'm crazy a number of times but now he's so on board, it took a little while," she said.
Gray Face Acres is now a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization.
Debbie says she and her husband may have rescued these dogs, but the dogs have added so much to theirs too.
"You'll make me cry. It's so rewarding to be able to wake up every day and do something that makes a difference," she said.
If you'd like to volunteer or make a donation to help the Gretz' take in more dogs, visit http://www.grayfaceacres.org.
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