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Senior dogs strut their stuff on Halloween red carpet for good cause

Posted at 10:37 AM, Oct 25, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — A senior living facility pitched in to organize an event for senior dogs to strut their stuff in their Halloween best while also benefitting a good cause.

Back in July, FOX 13 News reported about a Salt Lake City woman who provides pet therapy to senior citizens residing at assisted living facilities.

Months later, one of the facilities wanted to give back to the woman who has become a dear friend and provides a welcome service with her special dogs.

"I can't tell you how grateful I am," said Shauna Ostler, CEO and Founder of Therapaws Senior Sanctuary.

Ostler has been bringing her slew of senior dogs to give cuddles and comfort to senior citizens for months.

"To be able to come in and to have one sit on their lap and to hold them and love on them to have that connection again with a little furry creature is so good for them," she explained.

But with the recent loss of her mother to dementia and other financial hardship, Ostler said she may not be able to stay in Utah much longer.

That's why the staff at Truwood wanted to help.

"It can be lonely in senior living," explained Savannah Diebold, Community Relations Director at the facility. "It's amazing that she comes in and brings so much joy – we want to give back to her."

Diebold organized a red-carpet fashion show for the dogs, raising money to help Ostler and her nonprofit.

"I went around to every parking lot and put out fliers," Diebold explained. "I went to local pet business. I wanted to raise as much as I could for her."

Then the pups donned their best Halloween outfits and strutted their stuff on the red carpet.

Costumes included a witch, hot dog, spider and more.

The judges were senior living residents who agreed it was nearly too difficult to pick a winner.

In the end, everyone was a winner as the kind gesture from the community lifted Ostler's spirits during difficult and uncertain times.

"I just believe in what I do and I want to spread that love," she said. "To have them pay that back was unimaginable to me.

No matter where Ostler and her family of dogs go, she will continue her work of saving senior dogs and bringing light to those who just need a hug.