Pepper's Senior Dog Sanctuary

A nonprofit organization

100% complete

$30,000 Goal

With limited funding and space at local shelters and rescues, challenging decisions often have to be made concerning the lives of these dogs. As senior dogs, often their age and medical needs may be reasons as to why their lives are cut short. At Pepper's Senior Dog Sanctuary, we offer a 'Fur'-ever home to these senior pups so they can enjoy their Golden Years in a peaceful, supportive and medically advanced home. We believe every dog should have the opportunity to be loved on their good days, their bad days, and their last days...and for that we offer Pepper's Sanctuary.

Not only is our Sanctuary a space for dogs to have the quality of care they need for a second chance, our pups interact with the community and offer hope to adults with Autism as well as retirement communities. From two legged to four, everyone needs love and place to interact, and Pepper's offers space for these parties to mutually benefit each other.


"It is immensely satisfying to be a part of the Pepper's effort because it will enrich the lives of so many senior dogs. And because of the enrichment they have brought to our lives, it's the perfect way to say 'thank you'".
- Antonio Ballatore, host of Animal Cribs on Animal Planet

Dogs are universally intuitive. Companions for life.
MaryAnn with Max

The symbiotic relationship for individuals with autism and PSDS is profound! Nothing is more genuine.
-Paula Bonneau, Board Member

"Older dogs have always needed a safety net as they are the most overlooked and vulnerable population in shelters. It's important that there are safe places for seniors to go regardless of their status as 'adoptable.' Senior dog sanctuaries are so crucial because they provide a forever home for dogs who have chronic and terminal illnesses, who are disabled, or just very elderly. And while these dogs may be too challenging for a normal family, sanctuaries are set up to be able to provide this kind of care; it is an essential and much-needed service."

-Hope Morgan, Little Old Dog Sanctuary


Mission - Pepper's Senior Dog Sanctuary provides a compassionate, loving, lifelong home where elderly dogs are cared for during their good days, bad days, and last days.

Vision - We provide senior and special needs dogs with a compassionate, forever home, at our family-owned, veterinarian-supervised sanctuary. We care for our dogs for all the days of their lives, including hospice needs. We are the premier "dog retirement community" for canines who need us most - forever. We fill a unique need and space in senior dog sanctuaries. While you won't find shuffleboard at our sanctuary, our seniors have other amenities and supports that make Pepper's a well-deserved luxury for senior dogs. We provide small group and one-on-one care; enormous space to play, lounge, and sleep kiddie-pool-side; individual bedroom suites designed by Antonio Ballatore from Animal Cribs; professionally trained staff and volunteers; and dedicated physical therapy and medical care. Dogs who become part of the Pepper's family win the retirement lottery.

Pepper's ONLY adopts dogs from area shelters and rescues, helping to ease the burden of overcrowding at shelters. Placing them in our care relieves their previous shelters of the extensive therapeutic and medical needs these dogs require and it opens additional spaces in their facilities at a 2 to 1 ratio. ASPCA estimates that approximately 670,000 dogs who enter U.S. shelters each year are euthanized. Sadly, many of these dogs who are considered seniors and special needs dogs are prematurely or unnecessarily euthanized due to age, special medical needs, testing heartworm positive, or having a disability. At Pepper's, age and appearances don't matter - we're specially equipped to care for elderly and special needs dogs for their entire journey. We DO NOT accept dogs via owner surrenders or drop-offs.

Background Statement

Our Story - Pepper's Senior Dog Sanctuary (PSDS) was founded in 2019 by a trio of dedicated senior-dog advocates: Justin Klemer, his mom - Mary, and Leigh Sullivan. All three are Colorado natives, lifelong animal rescuers, and proud foster fails who've saved and nurtured dozens of dogs. Pepper's is located on 50 acres of beautiful farmland in Littleton, Colorado. And it was a 7-year-old Pomeranian that made it all happen.

More than a rescue, more than a shelter, Pepper's is a sanctuary that was founded to honor a special Pomeranian, Pepper, who found the love and safety that he desperately needed, a dog who needed others to see the incredible worth of an old soul. Pepper was a sidekick, a hero, a best friend - sometimes you're lucky enough to find all three rolled into one special heart. Some wear capes. Some sport a snarl, lackluster dental care and hygiene, and a healthy dose of suspicion for others. This was Pepper - he was a sidekick, hero, and best friend to his partner-in-crime and human rescuer, Mary. She adopted Pepper in 2011 when he was around 7. His first years of life were difficult - until he sniffed Mary and spent his remaining years being pampered by her compassion and acceptance of all his quirks and unconditional love. Really, they accepted each other exactly how they were.

Pepper became Mary's sober companion - they were soulmates who made it their mission to pay it forward to other sidekicks in need who are waiting to find their forever home and unconditional care, no matter how deserving one appears to be on the outside. Pepper inspired Mary, Justin, and Leigh to open PSDS. Pepper's legacy teaches us to appreciate the connection and purpose we find within each other and the honor that it is to care for the most vulnerable among us. As Pepper showed, senior dogs have so much love and wisdom to share.

Organization Data


Organization name

Pepper's Senior Dog Sanctuary

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)





7000 Roxborough Park Rd
Littleton, CO 80125


P.O Box 460486
Denver, CO 80246

Service areas

Denver County, CO, US

Douglas County, CO, US





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