Shelter Dog Poems

Shelter Dog Poems

These are poems I wrote for shelter dogs in rescue centres.

The first is the story of Old Patch and Old Billy who are now in their twilight years and are always overlooked in the kennels.

Shelter Dog Poems


 The Kennels Were Quiet

The kennels were quiet

Now the gates were closed

The puppies had left

For forever homes

Old Patch and Old Billie

remained in their pen

Not surprised to be

staying again

Their eyes were cloudy

Their muzzles grey

The people would stop

then just walk away

For Old Patch and Old Billy

there was no surprise

they didn’t want oldies

loyal and wise

They wanted the young ones

eager and small

But the years weren’t always

kind to them all

So, next time you visit

with a new home in sight

Consider the oldies

and their sorry plight

For Old Patch and Old Billie

deserve a break

Their eyesight is failing

Their muscles ache

Next time you visit

 there is your match

 look no further

Than Old Bill and Old Patch.

Kate Hanford


This poem is dedicated to my own rescue dog, a Miniature Dachshund called Mr Darcy. He had been passed through many homes because people didn’t understand his complex needs.


Shelter Dog Poems

A Poem For A Rescue Dog

A year has passed since we met our little man

A feisty, mini dachshund

with a coat of black and tan

We called him Mr. Darcy

because he didn’t know his name

and told him that from now on

life would never be the same

We peeled away the layers

and slowly it was clear

All he ever wanted was

a family to hold dear

His little heart was bursting

with love for someone who

could give him back some happiness

and start his life anew

To those who didn’t want him

To those who didn’t care

You had to look into his soul

to see the love that’s there

The journey isn’t easy

There are hurdles in the way

But I would never change him,

Just love him more each day.

Kate Hanford


There must be a terrible feeling of sadness when a dog finds himself in a rescue centre. This poem was written to portray these feelings from a dog’s point of view.

Shelter Dog Poems


Why am I here in this place?

Why am I here in this place?

With concrete floors and a metal case

What did I do that was wrong?

To end up where I don’t belong

Where is my blanket, my toys, my bed?

Left all alone, my people have fled

Behind the bars I sit and wait

Wondering what will be my fate

No soothing voice or gentle touch

That familiar face I miss so much

Why do I feel so cold and alone?

Why don’t they come to take me home?

Kate Hanford


If you are considering adding a dog to your family, maybe consider a shelter dog. All reputable rescues will neuter and health check dogs before they are rehomed. Some are put into foster care and their behaviour is monitored in a home situation.

For more information on dog rescue, take a look at the link below.

Rescue Dogs Things To Know Before You Adopt

There is a list of questions to ask before you adopt and also what happens during a homecheck.






6 thoughts on “Shelter Dog Poems

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  1. Those poems brought tears to my eyes and my heart is broken. So sad how little animals are just left in the cold. Thanks to all the people who rescue!

  2. The poems are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them. They bought tears to my eyes too as all my dogs have been rescues since 1976. All gone now save the last one and he is 11 years old. I am grateful for all the love they gave and shared so unconditionally. My crew of beautiful misfits remain faithfully in my heart and memories ~ into Eternity and beyond.

  3. My last rescue dog came from a shelter quite far away from my house and he is a miniature dachshund. A chocolate and tan that was found on the streets. Nobody wanted him, he was skin and bones, just sat in the corner of the kennel. Everybody just passed him by. I received a phone call after I was sent a picture and I said I wanted him. Then I made the trip to get him. They told me they figured he was abused. He would growl when you tried to get near him but I finally was able to pick him up and sit down with him. He would fight to get away but after a few times he learned to sit with me. Now after a few months he is a very sweet dog. One amazing transformation like you would not believe.
    Number 19 rescue over 35 plus years.

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