rescue spotlight

Winter 2020: Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary


The Three Sisters

Though not technically sisters, these three beautiful dogs had been raised together. Their human dad had to make the heartbreaking decision to surrender them, due to unexpected financial issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Thankfully, a wonderful woman from Southern California adopted them together from Lily’s Legacy. Now the three sisters lounge, go to the beach, swim and are once again living a wonderful life together.


Buddy #1

Buddy is a sweet chocolate lab who had to have his eyes removed for medical reasons. His new mom says his GPS works better than the one in her car. He can always find a soft bed, snack, or a companion at home.


Gracie (before and after)

When Gracie arrived at Lily’s Legacy, she was in very bad shape. Now this beautiful girl is loved and happy in her new forever home.


Buddy #2

Buddy has been through a lot. His elderly human mom was ill and found him a new home with a friend. However, a short time later, that friend was no longer able to care for him. In August, he was surrendered to Lily’s Legacy. Thankfully, he was quickly adopted and is now living his best life.

“We provide a safe and loving home-like setting with personal attention, food, medical care, exercise, behavioral training and hospice care to senior, large breed dogs, seven years or older, regardless of their medical condition,”
– Alice Mayn, Founder and Executive Director of Lily’s Legacy

Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary, located in Petaluma, California, provides a safe and loving home-like setting for 50-pound-plus dogs ages seven and up who have been displaced or abandoned. Dogs come from both shelters and surrender situations. Each dog receives a thorough medical evaluation (and treatment), as well as a temperament assessment. If the dog is adoptable, the volunteer-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization works to find a new home to meet his or her emotional, medical and daily needs. Dogs that deemed unadoptable remain at the sanctuary or in a permanent foster home for the remainder of their natural lives.

Alice Mayn, Founder and Executive Director, established Lily’s Legacy in 2009, two years after adopting Lily, a 12 year old Golden Retriever from the Sonoma County Animal Shelter.

“Lily was found wandering the street in ill health and with no identification,” recalled Alice. “She was in a large pen at the shelter. As soon as the door was opened, she walked directly to me and gave me a kiss. She knew I was there to rescue her.”

After being treated for an infection and having a tumor removed from her eyelid, Lily settled into her new home and new family. Over the next four months, she faced many medical challenges, but remained a happy, loving dog. When she passed away, Alice’s daughter said, “Mom, Lily was an angel.”
Alice felt that, too. She knew that Lily’s purpose was to inspire her to create a nonprofit to help rescue and rehome senior large breed dogs.

Lily’s Legacy is situated on five acres. The dog barn resembles a living room, with sofas, carpets and tables. Volunteers are on-site 24 hours a day to supervise the dogs, most of whom roam freely. There are also dedicated cuddlers, who spend time simply loving the dogs.

“We think these dogs should be treated like family pets and we get as close to that as we possibly can,” said Alice. “It’s a happy place.”

“We are so glad to have Treatibles products available to help our dogs with a variety of ailments, she added.”

Lily’s Legacy is one of the few rescues in California focusing on senior, large breed dogs – those most at risk in the shelters. The Sanctuary works to educate the public on the distinct benefits to adopting older dogs.
“For the most part, senior dogs easily acclimate to a new home because they are settled. Many are well-trained. And because they are not puppies, they aren’t chewing on things they shouldn’t, or running around the house,” shared Alice.

Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary also works to find foster homes for the animals in their care. In addition, their Fospice Pups program works with fosters or sanctuaries dedicated to offering end-of-life comfort and care for terminally ill and elderly dogs.

To learn more about sanctuary residentsdogs available for adoption and those who have been adopted, or to make a donation, please visit

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