It all began in 2005 with a group of people who loved animals. But in particular, the older animals:  Dogs who had a little grey around the muzzle, but whose hearts were young and whose love knew no bounds. Cats who lounged around, pretending to be hard of hearing, until the whir of the can-opener proved otherwise. 

These animals had once been loved, cherished, and part of a family- until one day they were no longer wanted. Often, an older dog or cat sits patiently in a shelter, awaiting a soft voice, a kind hand, or even a friendly glance. They sit and wait, often scared, often depressed, and almost always overlooked by potential adopters. 

Passed by for younger dogs and cats, these pets are often just what an adopter is looking for – quiet, calm, housebroken, good with kids, affectionate and easily acclimated to a new home. Yet, they sit and wait for someone to love them, until many times, it is too late.

In April of 2005, Young At Heart was formed to aid in the rescue and rehoming of older dogs and cats in the Chicagoland area. Since that fateful day, hundreds of senior pets have been rescued and adopted into loving homes. 

Our long-term goal is to eventually open Illinois’ first adoption center & sanctuary for senior dogs and cats. This safe haven will be our homestead; a place where more dogs and cats get a second chance at a loving home, a place where age is just a number, and a place where the care and comfort of those with greyer muzzles and stiffer joints than their younger counterparts come first and foremost. A place where all senior pets can find their happily ever after. 

We are a non-profit 501c3 volunteer-based organization that operates with a small army of dedicated volunteers. Dogs are housed in licensed foster homes, and our cats reside in a cageless adoption area donated by Best Friends Pet Care or inside Lake Zurich Petco’s cat adoption center. We receive no federal or state funding, and rely solely on the generosity of pet-lovers like you, fundraisers, and grants to support our mission and our rescued animals.