image of senior dog and Golden Angel logo

Sponsor a Golden with Special Needs

Would you love to help the Goldens but can’t adopt or foster and don’t have time to volunteer? You can still contribute! Make a meaningful difference in the life of a Golden in need by sponsoring a dog in the Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue Golden Angel Program.

Each Golden that comes to Homeward Bound receives at a minimum, a vet exam, vaccinations, spay/neuter, heartworm test, and andy treatments needed to be ready for placement into a loving home. Some dogs require much more. For dogs with lifelong medical needs, Homeward Bound developed the Permanent Foster and Sanctuary programs. For dogs enrolled in Permanent Foster, Homeward Bound commits to cover the dog’s medical care for life – removing an obstacle to adoption so they can be home. Dogs in Sanctuary stay with us in a special section of Homeward Bound called Sugar Shack Acres. In truth, we can’t seem to hold on to them! We are blessed with families with big hearts for senior and special needs dogs.

Pictured below are eight dogs with special needs that require lifelong medical care and attention. If you would like to help by sponsoring them, you’ll be making a big difference in their lives.

You can make a one-time or recurring donation of any amount via our secure online system PayPal, or by personal check. Donations are tax-deductible and will be a blessing for those Goldens who need a little extra care or time.

A golden retriever with special needs


Raised from a pup, Rocky was a well-behaved, playful Golden boy, gentle with his young humans and a little confused about his size: he thought he was a lap dog! Over time, this handsome boy developed hypothyroidism and seizures—and with the seizures, extreme separation anxiety. His behaviors changed. He did not want to be left alone; he began getting into things that he had previously ignored. His people tried a long list of medications and treatments to no avail and became increasingly concerned that his behaviors could impact the young humans in the home. Reluctantly, they surrendered Rocky to our care.

Our vet began by reevaluating all of his medications to get a clearer view of what course of treatment would give Rocky the best quality of life. A camera was placed in his kennel to monitor his seizures and help the vet understand the pattern and severity. Meanwhile, our volunteers loved him, providing the socialization and emotional support he needed. With a manageable plan in place he was able to go home with someone who understands how to manage the seizures when they do occur. Homeward Bound ensures his medical care for life. Today, at nine years old, he loves his walks, socializing with small children in the neighborhood, fetching a ball, eating ice cubes, and playing tug a war. “He has given me a reason to go on; I love him so much!” Thanks to the support of people like you, Rocky receives the care he needs so he can be home.

Golden angel dog with toy


Bonnie was surrendered at one year of age by her owner early in 2020. She had been diagnosed with an ectopic ureter and inverted vulva, which could only be corrected through a complicated and expensive surgery at U.C Davis. The procedure provided Bonnie with an artificial urethral sphincter (hydraulic occluder) which required round-the-clock care for six months following surgery. Once her body healed, she underwent another complex procedure to end her urine leaking problem.

Bonnie’s first surgery, which was delayed by COVID, was performed in July 2020. She required round-the-clock injections. That’s when one of our dedicated volunteers stepped in. The plan was to nurse Bonnie back to health and return her to Homeward Bound ready for adoption. But her leaking never completely subsided, and it didn’t take long for Bonnie to pull at the family’s heartstrings. She now resides as a permanent member of the family who say: “What’s a little pee? No problem!” As her new family continues to monitor her progress, all future medical needs will be provided by Homeward Bound – thanks to you.

A golden retriever with special needs


Laila came to us by way of another rescue that was not able to meet her medical needs. She was born with Hydrocephalus (water on the brain), is mostly blind and arrived heavily dosed with prednisone. We gradually weaned her from the drug but found, through a series of fosters, that she had ongoing accidents in the home. These were not medically caused, but a result of the Hydrocephalus. Full of life and joy, Laila is likely to have additional behavioral and medical needs as she ages.

It took three fosters, but Laila found her forever home. Her new mom has a huge heart for special needs dogs and has welcomed a long list of hospice and dogs with unique needs into her home. Laila has found a home full of joy, play…and a little pee! Now approaching age four, some additional behavioral and medical needs have arisen typical of her diagnosis, but she could not be in better hands, or more loved. Laila can be home as part of our permanent foster program; Mom provides the love…we provide Laila’s medical care for life – thanks to you.

A labrador retriever at a lake


Cooper came to Homeward Bound as a puppy named Capone in 2016. He was returned because everything changed for him and his family. Cooper developed insulin-dependent diabetes and cataracts that left him nearly blind. His family could not provide the support that he needed and – in keeping with our lifelong commitment to the dogs – he was returned to us so we could find him a better equipped home. He found that with his permanent foster family who carefully controlled his diet and monitored his diabetes. He will remain on insulin the rest of his life which Homeward Bound will provide, but their diligence paid off for Cooper. In 2021, he underwent successful cataract surgery. It’s a whole new sighted world for Cooper as he and his permanent foster parents travel the country in their RV. They – and we – are forever grateful for your support.

Blind Golden Angel Dog

Kodos – Now Murphy

Kodos – now Murphy – arrived arrived in 2019. Glaucoma had made him completely blind in one eye and he was losing sight in the other. Always an integral part of the family, he loved to cuddle and be by his humans’ side. But things changed with the arrival of a toddler and newborn. Because of his challenged vision, he was easily startled by the running child and largely ignored amid the chaos of a newborn in the home. For his safety and the children’s, the family had taken to crating him most of the time, but they knew he deserved better. They surrendered him at the age of six. He remained with us for several months waiting for the right match. When our applicant appeared with a preference for dog who loved cuddling and gentle walks, we knew we had found her. We sent him home as a permanent foster so we could cover the cost of the expensive eye drops he would need lifelong to reduce the pressure in his eyes. Now 11, he has also gone deaf. His mom guides him through life, while we ensure his medical care – thanks to you.

an old labrador retriever


California’s Central Valley is a hub for abandoned dogs. They are found on street corners, highways, fields, and orchards. Last March, at 14 years old, Jake was found wandering there. Vision-impaired due to cataracts, possessing a heart murmur, very weak in the hind end due to arthritis, Jake didn’t stand much of a chance abandoned – or in the dramatically overcrowded shelter where we scooped him up. He was seen by our vets; prescribed medication to ease his aching joints; and examined for possible cataract surgery. But his age and condition made surgery too risky. He is a gentle boy who just wants to be with his person. One of volunteers and previous fosters with a heart for senior dogs has offered him the warm, comfortable, and loving retirement home he deserves while Homeward Bound supports his medical needs.

Before photo of very old dog


Charlie is yet another senior dog found abandoned in the Central Valley. Taken to the shelter, his owner was able to be contacted. Instead of bringing Charlie home, she left him at the shelter. We cannot imagine leaving one of our dogs like that in his golden years. In Charlie’s case, it was a blessing in disguise. This pint-sized Golden boy, age 13, was missing teeth and had significant atrophy in his hind end making walking nearly impossible. But he soaked up our love as if he had never known it before. Our vets were able to ease his pain, and one of our long-time volunteers was able to heal his heart. He took Charlie home as a Permanent Foster dog where, now pain-free, he regained enough strength to walk again, but much prefers his special ride! Good quality food and care have restored both his coat and his smile. Charlie has found his pack with human and canine friends. He will live his life in comfort and love, thanks to the support of people like you.

Before photo of very old dog


Cinnamon was among the lucky ones that got out of China where large breed dogs are either confiscated and killed, or worse – sent to the meat markets. Perhaps her petite size helped to spare her, but it didn’t save her from a hidden enemy: Cancer. At six years of age, Cinnamon arrived with a heart murmur, eyes unaccustomed to light after six years likely spent in breeding captivity, and a soft tissue sarcoma on her front leg. To prevent the spread, it was determined that the leg should go. The loss of a front leg is much tougher on a dog than the rear leg as it is so crucial for balance. Compensating puts significant pressure on her other limbs. Cinnamon’s small size will be beneficial, but eventually the strain will lead to arthritis. Separately, when we sent her for spay, two mammary tumors were found and removed. Preventative care and frequent vet checks will watch for issues with cancer, her heart, and arthritis. To support her long-term needs, Cinnamon was enrolled in our Permanent Foster Program with Homeward Bound providing for all her medical care.

a senior golden angel dog in a person's lap


To make a general one-time or recurring donation to the Golden Angel Fund, simply Click on this link.

If you prefer to send a check, please make it payable to: Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and mail it to the address below, including a note about the dog or dogs you wish to sponsor. Thank you!

Golden Angel Fund
Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue
7495 Natomas Road
Elverta, CA 95626