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Senior dogs get second chance with Frosted Faces Foundation

Above: Sammy is an 8-year-old pit bull rescue living at the Frosted Faces Foundation facility. He is a part of the organization’s Molly & Me program for dogs that need a little extra attention, and is currently seeking a family to foster or adopt him. Photo courtesy of Frosted Faces

REGION — Have you ever had one of those days where you just want to put your paws up and rest? Sammy, an adorable 8-year old pit bull, knows the feeling.

About a month ago, he had surgery, and was having some trouble with his right leg. Barb McAlister, an Encinitas resident and volunteer with the senior dog rescue Frosted Faces Foundation, noticed Sammy’s fatigue while they were on a walk, so she took him back to the car, where they sat for a while.

“He couldn’t hold his bone so I held it for him,” McAlister said. “He just chewed it and fell asleep, all snuggled up.”

Based in Ramona, Frosted Faces Foundation rescues dogs like Sammy — ones that are 8 years of age and older whose families had to part with them. Because the dogs are older, they often have a hard time getting adopted at traditional shelters.

That’s when Frosted Faces Foundation swoops in to collect these older dogs, who could face euthanization if not adopted at some shelters. Founded by Kelly and Andy Smïšek in 2014, Frosted Faces has rescued nearly 700 dogs with the help of over 200 volunteers.

“I think a lot of these dogs would not make it out of the shelter if Frosted Faces could not step in and help them,” McAlister said.

Sammy is a special Frosted Face — he is part of the Molly & Me program, which provides a stipend of $200 per month to a family that can take in a dog that needs a bit more care. Currently, he is still waiting for a family to take him in.

With Sammy’s demeanor, he requires some extra attention and needs to be the only pet, but as McAlister experienced during that moment in her car and countless others, he is very sweet with his human companions.    

“He is reactive to delivery people and stuff like that, so you have to watch the situations you take him in,” McAlister said. “But as far as being with humans, he loves everybody.”

Only a handful of “Frosted Faces” have gone through Molly & Me over the years. It is more common to find dogs in need of a temporary foster, which could range from two weeks — this is called their “Frosted Flings” program — to a few years.

They also have a “Forever Foster” program, where a person can take care of the dog until the end of its life. All programs — including adoption — provide the animal’s caregiver with a stipend for medical care.  

“This is very helpful, because the medical expenses can be a big part of what discourages people from adopting an older pet,” McAlister said.  

Saving dogs like Sammy is a big part of why McAlister got involved with the organization. During her years of volunteering with Frosted Faces, she has seen dogs’ lives completely transformed by this work.

“They know they’ve been rescued, and it’s pretty cute to see how they evolve,” McAlister said. “I think the people who adopt them still get years of love and so much joy from these little guys.”

Frosted Faces Foundation will celebrate its five-year anniversary in June. It will host a celebration potluck at its location from 6 to 10 p.m. June 22 with a silent auction and merchandise sales to benefit the organization.