HELPING THE MOST VULNERABLE.
A forever home for abandoned senior dogs
Who we are.
Located about 20 miles from Colorado Springs, The Old Mutt Hut is a state-licensed, 501(c)(3) sanctuary for old dogs who are in need of a home. The dogs live in a comfortable rural home—no crates or kennels—with a full-time caregiver. They receive top-notch medical care and they go on daily walks with volunteers. The Old Mutt Hut is supported entirely by donations.
Meet our Dogs
Scroll to learn about our dogs and their stories…
Mitzee, age 13
Mitzee joined us in 2022 five days before her 13th birthday, surrendered by the woman who’d had her since puppyhood. The woman had found herself in an abusive living situation and although she couldn’t bring herself to leave that situation, she did want to make sure her beloved dog was safe.
A beautiful border collie/cattle dog mix, Mitzee was quite shut down when she moved into The Hut, troubled by what had gone on in her recent past and worried about her new environment. She kept to herself for weeks, decompressing and trying to come to terms with this new place and these new people and these many dogs. Everyone, including the dogs, gave her the space she seemed to need. And then Arthur, the big border collie, decided the time had come for Mitzee to leave the protective shell she had created for herself. He demanded she engage in play, lying near her and doing dog slaps in her direction. And she responded, lying down and slapping back! It was the beginning of a slow but steady willingness to engage with this new place and her new life.
She likes things to be calm and predictable–always choosing a bed in a distant corner, probably so she can escape if she needs to–but now approaches many of the volunteers, accepting some affection before retreating to her bed. She enjoys roaming the play yard, and lying in the sunshine. And she seems mostly relaxed and content, apparently having come to understand that she is safe.
Bella, age 16
Bella, a gorgeous, sweet-natured cattle dog, joined us in February 2022 at age 15. Her person had suffered a series of pandemic and post-pandemic traumas, including covid, which hit her hard in the early months before vaccinations; meningitis that hospitalized her; loss of her job during the pandemic shutdowns; and a T-bone crash into her vehicle that totaled her car. She was floundering and had no family to step in to help. Feeling overwhelmed, she just needed to know that the dog she loved would be safe, and reached out to us.
Bella is a curious, watchful, confident girl (without, it appears, the edge that can sometimes accompany her breed, though she is protective of her space) who enjoys lying about in the sunshine on the front deck. She’s an independent girl who doesn’t spread affection casually, but when she loves she loves deeply.
She likes to be the first at the gate to greet visitors and runs the fenceline, barking, when they depart. These are evidently tasks that she considers her jobs, and it’s important to her to be able to do those jobs well.
Tucker, age 10
Tucker came to us from a high kill shelter in Texas on Thanksgiving week 2022, driven 16 hours by one of our former volunteers who’d moved to Texas months earlier and couldn’t bear the thought of this sweet dog being euthanized just because he was older (11) and had the misfortune of living in a high-kill state.
Tucker is a loving dog who’s extremely smart (he’s learned to open every door in the place and solved in minutes every mind puzzle presented to him), and a high jumper able to clear the two half walls in our house. He’s also a guy who obviously did not grown up with rules or training. Soon after his integration with the rest of the dogs he decided he wanted to be the boss of everyone and began getting snippy with anyone who was seeking attention.
We’re working on training and setting boundaries with him, and we’ve set him up in a suite with two couches and a see-through gate so as to protect everyone and also give him time to observe without being in the middle of everything.
He loves long walks and car rides, is perfect now on a leash, and loves all people. Snuggling on the couch with someone is one of his favorite activities.
Goose, age 12
Goose landed at the Teller County shelter (TCRAS) in December 2022 after his person went into assisted living. There wasn’t much adopter interest expressed in this little mountain town for a small, short-haired, long-legged (he’s probably part Jack Russell terrier and part foxhound), 12-year-old dog. So they called us.
Goose, despite his age and size, quickly proved he’s a fireball who can keep up with the big dogs and jump a 4.5 foot wall. So there’s that. High intensity and highly intelligent, he’s also highly stubborn. We’re working on that. He’s tackling mind puzzles every day for mental stimulation, and we are doing some training with him, setting some boundaries. He’s just a guy who has to keep busy. He’s also a guy who loves snuggling, has no fear of anything, and always finds the cushiest pillow when it’s nap time.
Lexi, age 12
Lexi–noisy, snoopy, clumsy bloodhound Lexi–became a resident in May 2020, a just-before-the-pandemic-closures adoption that didn’t work out very well. Happily, the couple who adopted her contacted us, worried that returning her to the shelter during the pandemic closures would result in her being euthanized due to age (10 or so).
It took her months to relax, but the girl who emerged is an affectionate, rabbit-obsessed, thunder-terrified, sloppy-kissing, cold- and wind-hating dog who loves long naps on the couch and will follow any ray of sunshine around the house, determined to have heat on her bones after her walks.
She has no spatial awareness, which is an annoyance to most of the dogs since she bumps and lumbers through them, oblivious to their very presence, but she and they make it work!
Cocoa, age 12
Gorgeous Cocoa came to us from the local shelter just before Christmas 2020 at probably 10 or 11 years old, way too fat, arthritic and with two ear infections. Despite the fact that she had been dumped in a field left to survive on her own with a variety of pains and health issues, she, in typical Lab fashion, proved herself even in the shelter to be cheerful, upbeat and friendly.
She had to be spayed (we think she was a backyard breeder dog abandoned after she became too old to produce large litters), mammary tumors were removed, ear infections were addressed, and she went through a major dental, but she slid into The Hut group almost as if she had always been there.
She’s an affectionate, motherly girl who is one of the first to welcome new dogs when they’re feeling confused, and can always be counted on to be polite and accommodating. She loves belly rubs, ear scratches and leaning against any available thigh. And of course, she’s crazy about food, being a Lab (a perfectly acceptable obsession now that she is at a good weight). She is the easiest of dogs–quiet, demanding little, accepting whatever happens without getting ruffled, and always happy to offer an affectionate nuzzle.
Amelia, age 14
Amelia, a good-natured (if somewhat bossy) dachshund mix, came to us in early 2021 at age 12.
She’d been in and out of the local humane society frequently over the years, as her person was homeless and often ran afoul of the law. Eventually the young woman’s mother took Amelia, but then didn’t want her any more. Another rescue was contacted but reached out to us because they felt her adoption prospects were nil, as she had slightly wonky bloodwork, a few bad teeth needing removing, a slightly bad heart, and some funky hair loss on her ears.
We gave her time to settle in, provided much better food and stability, and soon our vet said her numbers had improved enough to put her under anesthesia and pull her painful teeth. The dental surgery went great, and the next day she was off and running. Truly. She has the energy of an 8-year-old dog–a funny girl who loves a 3- or 4-mile walk despite her stubby little legs, and a snuggler and kiss-giver always up for sharing affection.
She’s the monitor of all things, keeping an eye on matters outside and inside the house. She often perches on the back of the sofa so she can look out the windows and make sure there can’t be any surprises.
Lacee, age 14 ½
Lacee, every bit as sweet and loving as she is beautiful, had a rough few months before joining us. Her person, who had adopted her as a puppy and loved her mightily, was sinking into dementia, and sensitive Lacee watched and worried, knowing things weren’t right, instantly on her feet at the tiniest sound or motion. When the adult children came to terms with the fact that the woman could no longer live on her own and admitted her into a memory care center, Lacee and the woman’s other dog stayed alone in the house for weeks, as there were many things to tend to. People came every day to feed them and spend a little time but it could not have been easy for a sociable girl like Lacee to live that way.
She moved into The Hut in February 2020, nearly 12, very fat, with bad teeth and some painful mats, but happy to have company and eager to walk the prairie to get rid of that extra weight. She quickly showed herself to be extremely gracious to all of her canine roommates and within months had become the benevolent leader to whom they all looked for signals when they were nervous or unsettled. When the winds howled or hail started or thunderstorms moved in they would move toward Lacee, and she would tell them to be calm. They were.
Lacee loves to chase balls, shake toys to death, and join in on any game. Polite and well mannered, she is also a little stubborn, will eat any prairie weed she can find, and is not fond of car rides.
This sweet-natured border collie mix, JayCee, joined us after having experienced a rough few weeks.
Her person passed away at home, and she lay by his side for a few days until his death was discovered. JayCee was taken to the shelter, and a kindly woman adopted her, but the lady became very ill and had to be hospitalized. Back to the shelter JayCee went. A rescue group got her out of the shelter, into a foster home, and called us, having had no luck in placing her in another home.
We don’t know much about her earlier days, but we do know her person took her places in his car or truck (because she made it clear to us she definitely enjoys car rides), he took very good care of her, and we suspect she was allowed to sit in his lap (because she sat in ours).
She’s said to be 14 but we don’t believe it. We’re thinking 10-ish. She’s peppy and athletic. And she loves hugging and giving kisses.
Emmett, age probably 11
Emmett joined us in January 2022 after his owner passed away in the hospital and animal control officers went to the house to get the little dog and take him to the Colorado Springs shelter. Probably about 12 years old, dirty, ungroomed, with hideously long toenails that made walking difficult, and a mouthful of terrible teeth, he was, nonetheless, spunky, loving and ready to embark on a different life.
Once cleaned up and feeling better after many extractions, he emerged as a comical if demanding little clown who loved walks, curling up with any person or dog, and showing off for treats. Still, even after his makeover it was impossible to tell what combination of breeds might have united to create this odd-looking little guy…maybe at least some dachshund and some sort of terrier? Doesn’t matter. He thought himself adorable and most humans agreed.
He developed a special relationship with caregiver Kathy, and when she left to take a job at a sanctuary in Wyoming, she asked to adopt him. Off he went after five months with us for yet another adventure.
Arthur, age 10
The Humane Society of the Pike’s Peak Region contacted us about Arthur, a big border collie mix, in May 2021. He’d been dumped there by his family who said they were moving East and wouldn’t be taking him. Traumatized, he pancaked himself to the floor for three days. Wouldn’t get up to eat or drink. Wouldn’t get up to relieve himself. Just lay in his own messes, terrified. They gave him meds to try to decrease his anxiety. Nothing worked. So they called us even knowing that at age 9 he was younger than the dogs we normally take in (10 is our usual cutoff).
He moved into The Hut and quickly proved himself to be a goofy, sweet-natured boy. He had a giant pink mass blooming from his lower jaw that had displaced four teeth and it bled whenever he ate. It wasn’t cancerous but it was invasive. We opted to remove the portion of his jaw where the tendrils from the mass were spreading. He bounced back quickly, didn’t seem at all concerned about what was now a lopsided smile, and went about the business of living life.
Three months later we learned that his gimpy rear legs weren’t arthritis or old injuries, they were torn ACLs. So both legs got fixed.
After he had been with us through three surgeries and 18 months and, one of our volunteers asked to adopt him. And now he goes on hikes nearly every afternoon, grooms his cat family members every day, and smiles his crooked smile knowing that all his dreams came true.
Godfrey, age 12
Godfrey, a bearded collie, 12 years old, endured three awful living situations. After the last one (he wasn’t groomed, his long curly fur matted and knit his legs and undercarriage together, leaving him unable to walk, left for dead near a creek) the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region contacted us. Can you just let him finish out his life with love, they asked?
That’s easy. Despite his horrid background, Godfrey is a gentle, loving soul who makes no demands and appreciates every little gesture. It took some time for us to help him rebuild his muscle mass after all those months of not being able to walk correctly due to matted fur, but now he loves his walks and listening to the birds as he lies on the deck on the bed we put out there for his afternoon naps.
He quickly makes friends with everyone who joins The Old Mutt Hut, and now has gained the confidence to actually request a pat on the shoulder or a kiss on the nose.
Mo, age 12
Mo, about 12, was passed around from person to person. He’s a good boy, he just had the misfortune of landing with people who weren’t committed to him. At some point, a front foot was badly injured and not fixed, so he has a splayed, flat foot. But we’ve got him on pain meds, he gets around fine, and loves walking out across the prairie, sniffing the ground.
Mo’s very favorite thing, though, is lying on the back deck, keeping an eye on things out in the back 40, and alerting us when the horses in the nearby pasture get frisky and take off across the field.
He’s a big boy but sometimes acts like a goofy puppy. He likes playing with squeaky toys, and he’ll often chase his tail to make people laugh.
Pinto (Bean), age 15
Pinto (Bean), 15 Pinto, a tiny 5-pounder, is a tail-wagging charmer. Sweet and loving, he’s cheerful guy.
His story: a compassionate man saw this tiny chihuahua in the middle of a busy street, clearly unwell. The man scooped the little dog up and took him to Bijou Animal Hospital to see if there was a microchip so he could try to locate the family, and also because it was obvious the dog was in distress. A cold snap was moving in, he was horribly thin and he was having trouble breathing. No chip, the vet’s office discovered. And no collar or tag. The vets were worried. Very bad heart. Plus scrawny. And there was a great deal of fluid build-up because of his heart issue. They gave him meds and treatments, hoping they could make him better, but it really didn’t look good. The office manager took him home so she could monitor him, the compassionate man roamed the neighborhood where he found him, trying to find who he belonged to, and the clinic posted him on the humane society found pets listing, CraigsList, NextDoor and a couple of other venues. No one stepped forward. Meanwhile, the tiny guy, grateful, apparently, for the loving care and meds, fought fiercely to live. There were ups and downs. But three weeks later he was stable, though he does have an ulcer on one eye and requires meds for that as well as for congestive heart failure.
We’ll never know if he was dumped or had been living on his own until he got too sick to keep out of the way of cars. We do know that he hadn’t had any medical care for a very long time. But he’s feeling good now. He’s a lively little snuggler. Maybe he won’t live a long time. He’s doing well now, the result of lots of meds, regular meals, and loving care. But no one can give him a brand new heart. Doesn’t matter. He’s happy, warm and his belly is full. He has no worries.
Charlie, age 13
Charlie (who we call Charles), who joined us in January. He’s blind and doesn’t hear very well, but he loves his walks, exploring the house (he’s pretty much got it committed to memory now), and settling in on the sofa next to a warm thigh. He maneuvers around most obstacles through some sort of radar, but that radar doesn’t seem to pick up sleeping dogs or dogs in motion, and he sometimes bumps into them. This annoys only one: Molly. When Charlie seems to be on a collision course with her, she lets out a single beagle bark/bay (sort of like a foghorn) and that’s his cue to alter his trajectory. He and Pinto (Bean) can often be found sharing a bed, the two teeny-tiny boys sticking together in sleep as well as during walk-abouts in the yard. Fearless and determined, Charles is a constant reminder of how adaptable dogs, including old dogs, really are.
Molly, age 17½
Molly, the very first canine resident of The Old Mutt Hut, is a peppy little old lady. She patrols the yard every day and keeps a watchful eye on the quail on the property.
Molly wound up with us after her person died suddenly in the hospital. Noah’s Ark shelter in Trinidad received word that she and her two dog companions had been left on their own for a couple of days in the confusion, and shelter workers raced in to care for the three animals, who were traumatized, and without food and water. The other two dogs, much younger, were spoken for quickly. Molly was not. Noah’s Ark went much further than many shelters do to try to re-home this girl–elderly, arthritic and deaf, but clearly wanting to keep having whatever adventures might be made available to her. And still no family stepped forward.
We’re happy to have this treasure who is kind to all creatures and is the easiest-going dog ever.
Kaya, age 15
Kaya, a peppy 14-year-old, moved into The Old Mutt Hut just before Thanksgiving. She loves taking walks through the prairie and chasing balls in our fenced-in play area. She doesn’t hear all that well, but she knows the second the dog food bag or the treat jar opens, She was loved deeply from puppyhood on, and then a dramatic medical diagnosis in her family resulted in her coming to The Old Mutt Hut…where she will continue to be loved deeply, just by different people now. She’s teaching us all many lessons about adaptability, keeping upbeat in the face of confusion and focusing mostly on the things that make you happy (which include a brisk walk, monitoring the parade of quail marching single file along the fenceline, and napping in the sunshine).
Joey, age 13
Joey joined us the weekend before New Year’s Day. This fit, constant-motion little beagle, 12, was cared for by a guardian-angel couple for a few weeks after his dad passed away, as they worked to find the best possible situation for the grieving dog. We’re pretty sure he thinks that couple made the right decision for him. He quickly developed an especially special relationship with Molly, our other beagle (though it must also be noted that he and Pinto (Bean) frequently nap together on the same bed) and he loves wandering the play yard and chasing the birds. He’s one of those perpetually gracious guys who enjoys meeting new people and animals, and doesn’t seem to get grumpy about anything.
Benton, age 14
Benton, a little blue merle mini dachshund, joined us in February 2021 at age 14 after his oft-arrested owner had landed in jail yet again, this time for what was sure to be a long time, and the local shelter asked us to take him.
Arthritic, with a mouthful of rotten teeth and nails so long it was hard for him to walk, he had clearly been neglected but not abused, as he greeted everyone with confidence and optimism, skinny tail in full swing. Stubborn and demanding, as his breed dictates, he was also uncommonly sweet and trusting.
He joined us in winter but as soon as spring arrived he became a living sundial, insisting upon being outside from soon after sunrise every day, changing his nap spots every hour or so, following the rays as they moved from east to west. That’s probably because he had lived in a trailer with his person and then in a car, and probably didn’t have the chance to enjoy fresh air and sunshine.
Pain meds had made his creaky doxy back less painful and he would sometimes launch into the happy zoomies, causing a bit of a ruckus as the rest of the dogs moved out of the way and barked encouragingly.
He passed away not quite two years after he joined us, cradled by caregiver Shae. We’re pretty sure he believed the time he spent at The Hut was the best of his life.
Maggie, age 11
Our Maggie, 10 or 11ish, is a real beauty. That’s obvious. What might not be so obvious is that she’s a goof. She’s been known to chase her tail; when company comes she’ll bark until appropriate greetings have been exchanged. True to her Nordic genes (Norwegian Elkhounds were shipmates to the Vikings) Maggie is an independent lady (well, to be honest, stubborn, very stubborn). She’s too dignified to be a lap dog, but she loves belly and butt rubs almost as much as she loves snow days. Her vision isn’t great (though hers is better than about half of our old residents) and she has spinal arthritis (for which she’s getting pain relievers) but she can hear a dog barking a quarter of a mile away and pays attention, just in case.
Mel, age 13
Mel, a very tall and very beautiful yellow Lab, joined us in August 2022 after his owner moved into assisted living. Mel was 13 and had severe arthritis, having been very active in his earlier years growing up a dog of the forest in rural Teller County.
Whatever pain he had (despite the meds he was receiving), he was the sunshine boy, always happy, always cheerful, always up for a snuggle. He took over a bed with a view of the front door, which allowed him to see arriving visitors before the other dogs saw them. And when they entered, he would wail a little wail, signaling to them that he should be the first dog to receive their attention. They gave it, succumbing to the Magic of Mel in seconds.
We knew when we took him in that we would probably have him for only a few months because of his awful hips. As it turned out we had him for only 66 days. Those hips gave out. And there might have been a brain tumor. The caregiver borrowed a wagon, loaded him gently into it and pulled him on the trail he could no longer walk on his own, he smiling the whole way. And then we said good-bye, he lying comfortably in the place that had become his home, surrounded by people who rubbed his belly and head.