Chris Shaughness has many years of diverse experiences in animal behavior and welfare. She started her career with animals as a certified pet massage therapist and opened Hands on Hounds Pet Massage in 1999. Chris then became a certified pet behavior consultant and trainer and changed the name of the business to Pet Therapy Services. During the time when Chris was in business, she wrote and published Puppy Mill Dogs SPEAK!, a book of stories about dogs who had been breeders in puppy mills for many years and had been released to find new, adoptive homes. The book shares helpful resources for dealing with the many challenges that these dogs present when they go to live in homes. Chris Shaughness worked in animal shelters as the marketing and public relations director, then went on to be the Executive Director of a non-profit organization that did fundraising for a large county animal shelter in Maryland.
She has fostered over 15 senior dogs in the past several years, as well as adopting five other seniors. FLFO is a dream come true.
Why “forgotten oldies”? It might have to do with Chris's childhood. Her father passed away when she was 12 years old, leaving her mother with very little money and very panicked about the future. Her mom constantly reminded her and her sister that she wasn’t sure how they would survive. But they eventually did. Her mother got a job, our founder got a partial working scholarship to high school, and the Social Security her mother received from her father’s passing paid for her college education. They scrimped and saved and made it through. But the experience left our founder with the underlying fear that she would become homeless. It has always been in the back of her mind, regardless of how much money she made and saved. She was convinced that something bad could happen to take it all away and she would have to live on the streets. She pictured herself as a bag lady, old and forgotten. Irrational? Yes. But still nonetheless very difficult to shake. When she sees the faces of old homeless dogs, she sees herself. It could be her.
During her childhood and throughout her life, our founder loved music, especially “oldies.” A local AM radio station used to have a show once a week called “forgotten oldies” and played songs from years past that were so good but rarely played anymore. Just like old dogs, old songs are the best!
We cannot allow any old dog to have to live without love and a home. No old dog will be forgotten ever again if we have our say in it.
Board of Directors
Donna Baker is the Vice President of FLFO. Donna began her professional career as a social worker specializing in the field of aging and later became a book editor. During that time, she began volunteering for the local SPCA and then for Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR), helping with fundraising, newsletter production, and foster care. After many years of volunteer work with DVGRR, Donna accepted a paid position with them, where she worked for six years as Adoptions Manager and Newsletter Editor.
While rescue and shelter work will always be in her blood, Donna also had a lifelong interest in the service dog field and was excited to next join the staff of Canine Partners for Life in Cochranville, PA. There she helped care for puppies destined for service dog work, managed the extensive volunteer program, and found adoptive homes for dogs who turned out to be better suited as family pets.
Donna’s first foster dog was an old stray Golden Retriever and she found herself drawn to the calm, wise, ever-grateful nature of senior dogs. While her subsequent fosters varied widely in age, her own adopted dogs all fell into the middle-aged or senior category. Over the years, she has adopted six dogs from DVGRR, many with challenging health or behavior issues. Shown here is Alli, adopted at age eleven, who lived to sixteen! Now retired, Donna is very honored to be a part of FLFO and very happy to know that it will provide a safe and loving home for senior dogs in need.
Rita Kumi is the Treasurer of FLFO. She is the founder and owner of SBBK Services and Solutions, and has over 17 years of experience working mainly with non-profits. She recently adopted Muffy, a Jack Russell terrier mix, from a local animal shelter.