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West Michigan animal rescue finds homes for pets of terminally ill patients

After working in an animal shelter, a Michigan woman has made it her mission to find new homes for old pets. Jill Bannink-Albrecht is the founder of Tyson's Place Animal Rescue, a nonprofit that focuses on pets whose owners have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

“I got a job at a local animal shelter, and when I was working there I saw what happened to the older animals that came in," Bannink-Albrect said. "At the time the shelter had a 50 percent euthanasia rate, they were often the first to be put to sleep, no one was really doing what I wanted to see, so I thought why don’t I just do it myself,” she said. 

She says, not only are the owners grateful their pets won’t go to an animal shelter, but so are the pets themselves, who many times, like their owners, only have a short time left. 

“I think that’s the big thing you see in rescue dogs is their gratitude. And they show you that’s through just constant love and affection. That’s their way of saying ‘thank you’ and that is one big thing we do in our rescue. We realize that you might be adopting an animal a few months, but they don’t deserve to have their life cut short just because they are elderly.” 

Bannink-Albrecht says, often times, older animals don't get adopted as quickly as younger animals in animal shelters. They often find themselves first in line for euthanasia because people simply don't want older animals. 

So far, Tyson's Place has found new owners for several-dozen older pets. 


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