12682 Kagel Canyon Road, Sylmar, CA 91342, US

(818) 636-1522

Golden Years Dog Sanctuary

golden years dog sanctuary: a nonprofit dedicated to dog and cat rescue.

golden years dog sanctuary: a nonprofit dedicated to dog and cat rescue.

golden years dog sanctuary: a nonprofit dedicated to dog and cat rescue.golden years dog sanctuary: a nonprofit dedicated to dog and cat rescue.golden years dog sanctuary: a nonprofit dedicated to dog and cat rescue.

Current Residents at Golden Years Dog Sanctuary



Cotton is one of our longest residents.  She came to our farm in 2006 at less than one year old.  She belonged to a  neighbor, but she was in love with Chester and Cosmo.  Every day, despite what the neighbor did to prevent her escape, she would sneak out and come to our farm to hang with her favorite dogs.  Finally, our neighbor gave up and allowed her to stay.  She has always been one of our favorite dogs. Her joy was wrestling with her "brothers," playing fetch with tennis balls and going to horse shows.  Now, like the loyal sheepdog mix she is, she guards the horses every day, and at night she retires to her bed.  She has seen many dogs come and go on our farm, including her beloved Chester and Cosmo. It will be a sad day when she leaves us.


Chrystal is the beige and white dog; her mom is cinnamon lying next to her.

Just before Easter in 2016 we saw a post on Facebook showing a bonded pair of  senior dogs at the Downey Animal Care Center.  Crystal and Cinnamon looked  sad, scared, and quite pathetic.  How could we say no?   Sadly we lost Cinnamon in 2018, who we believe  was Crystal's mom.   Crystal, who we believe is a 2006 model, appears to be boxer and staffordshire terrier with  the bark of a beagle.   When we adopted her and Cinnamon they had no idea what grass was.  They were afraid to go indoors and clearly had never experienced human love.  To this day we have never seen Crystal wag her tail but at least she no longer keeps it tucked under herself!  Her age is starting to show, but she is still one tough cookie, snapping at the other dogs if they try to share her treats or her mom when it is her time to be loved..which in her mind is all the time! 



Gorgeous. Healthy. Happy and rambunctious. You would never know this dog is twelve years old or was very sick when she was in the shelter!  Cappuccino, known as Effie at the  shelter, was first in the shelter as a one year old dog in 2008. She was treated for a skin condition, spayed and adopted.  Nine years later, she was back again.  This time she had terrible oozing wounds over her entire body. She an ear infection as well as a skin infection.  She also developed a respiratory infection.  For six months ,  she would show signs of improvement and then get sick again. This was not a good prognosis for an overcrowded shelter! So of course we had to save her! Once free of the stress of the shelter, she responded to the medicine and her skin cleared up. 

Now, at the young age of twelve going on three, she can be found   running around the entire farm! Cappuccino has no idea how old she is, and we don't plan on telling her!



"Patrina" was her name at the Downey Animal Care Center. We rescued her just before Thanksgiving in 2017.  Another 2006 model with no idea she is a senior.  She has quite the personality!  She wants so badly to play, but none of the dogs want to join in when she gestures to them it is play time.  Although she doesn't like others getting love when we are loving her, she barges in on other dog's love moments without a second thought. She is a great dog; we find it difficult to believe someone didn't claim her when she was at the shelter.



"Isabel" was our  "foster failure"!  This 2007 dog sat in a cage at the  overcrowded Los Angeles City North Central Shelter for eleven months!  We wanted to start fostering for the shelter. In May of 2018, she became our first, and our only foster.  We tried to find her a forever home but she, and all the clients at Goldspirit Farm, decided that we were her forever home!  This dog is amazing.   She not only breaks every stereotype about staffordshire terriers and pitbulls, but she is the biggest love who does not have an aggressive bone in her body! 



In July of 2019, founder Susan Friend LeTourneur, went to the West Valley Animal Shelter just to bring them newspapers.  As if she could leave without a dog!  She adopted "Mikie" a 12 year old little staffie that would not walk back to his kennel.  No matter what they did, or how many kennel attendants tried, he would not budge from the floor of the hallway that leads back to the kennels. He really wanted out.  Seems he knew a little about the shelter as he first found himself at the shelter in 2012. He was adopted but then back again in February of 2019. Cashew is the sweetest, happiest little dog; another example of how great staffordshire terriers really are! He gets along great with everyone and just loves being free to roam anywhere he wants.



They called her "Lucky" at the Los Angeles County Animal Care Center in Lancaster.  Her paperwork said she was a stray, but she came to the shelter spayed and chipped. Someone owned her at some point. This ten year old dog with cranial muscular atrophy was unlikely to ever get adopted.  So we did in May of 2018!  She is the biggest love.  Although deaf and nearly blind, she is amazing!  Her depth perception is off, but can she is able to  navigate around the farm and backyard just fine! Once in a while she bumps into another dog, but they all tolerate it!



 In September of 2018, Susan was asked to come adopt "pretty mamma" from the Downey Animal Care Center   She was ten years old and red listed to be PTS.  She was so shy and scared, she would not lift her head to greet us or to be petted.  Of course we would take her!  She is now living up to her name.  She loves to carry  toys around in her mouth.  She loves to run as fast  she can across the cross country field and onto her bed.  She loves to stand guard and protect us. She is one of the most grateful dogs we have!



Word gets out when a rescue group is at the shelter.  A kennel attendant pulled Susan aside when she was looking at Courage and asked if she could look at another dog.  Crusty , as we named her, was old, sick, and not even available to the public. She was doomed, except for the fact  that we look for those old, sick, ugly dogs to save.  So crusty has a  forever home with us!  She is at least twelve, if not older. She has an auto-immune problem and skin irritations that we have treated with multiple medications  until we helped her heal. She also has a hernia that has probably been there for many years. She has been to three vets; all agree to leave her as is; surgery would probably be worse for her at her age and condition.  She is happy and loves life!  



Sometimes you just "have to" go to the shelter to adopt a dog!  That is how we found Cooper.  They called him "Jack" at the West Valley Animal Shelter.  Copper is a 2008 Golden Retriever. Although at the shelter he was listed as a chow. Jack, as he was called at the Los Angeles City West Valley Animal Shelter  shelter,  had an owner who never came for him. We were a little unsure of getting a male dog as Clive is a dominant dog. However, in a play group Jack was good  with another male dog.  We love big dogs, so home he came!  Cooper had a little separation anxiety when he first arrived, but has settled in nicely!



Countess, known as Apache at the Baldwin Animal Care Center, is a fifteen year old black lab/pit bull mix.  She looked quite sad and pathetic in her kennel, so of course, we adopted her.  The day we came to see her, she was diagnosed with Kennel Cough. We were not even permitted to do a meet and greet, for fear of spreading the kennel cough.  Once home, even on medication, her cough turned into pneumonia. We were not sure she would make it.  It was a long eight days of force feeding her, giving her medicine and subcutaneous fluids and hoping she would pull through. She did!   We think she knew there was now love in her life and a reason to carry on!  She is so full of love; everyone at Goldspirit Farm loves her.  She is clearly happy and grateful for her forever home.



Cow was owner surrendered at the  Castaic Animal care center for being old, blind, deaf, unable to walk and incontinent.  While she is old at thirteen, she has none of those other conditions.  She does, however, have a huge tumor on her back leg that looks like an udder from behind; hence the name.  She is so happy to be free and able to walk. And walking she does, from one end of the farm to the other and back! She reminds us of Chance, who also did not heed her description of being unable to walk!  Thanks to donations, we were able to have the surgery to remove her tumor.  Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a happy face on a senior dog!



"Penelope,"  a 2006 Staffordshire Terrier, was not doing well at the West Valley Animal Shelter.   She was depressed, shutting down and had trouble moving around and getting up.  Without our intervention, this adorable dog would not be with us now.  With a little arthritis medicine, love, and room to move, her arthritis doesn't hold her back. We hoped her name would give her encouragement, and we think it worked! Though her arthritic knees make her very bowed legged,  it does not keep her from walking to  the barn and back, and cruising around the property every day. 



It is difficult to believe this gorgeous, healthy, and friendly, dog was going to pts because she was twelve years old and skinny.  She didn't fit our criteria at all as she was adoptable and healthy!  Yet, we could not leave the Palmdale shelter hoping someone would save her from death; so we adopted her! By the end of day one, she was already glued to Susan's side. Loyal and smart, she learned quickly to stay out of the arenas and away from the horses.  Now she spends her days with her new best friend, Courage, hunting lizards. Luckily for the lizards, they are not very good at catching! Another perfect fit for Golden Years Dog Sanctuary!



Susan was called about getting a dog, named "oso" from north central.  She was a little worried, as male dogs can sometimes be aggressive.  She was assured, not the case with this sweet 10 year old dog that was caught in the streets. No owner came to pull him from the shelter..  So on a Friday afternoon, Susan drove down to the shelter to adopt him only to find out, another shelter "pulled" him.  They put a hold on him, but then never came for him. The next day at 4:50 pm, Susan was asked to adopt this dog sight unseen or he would be pts. Who could say no to that? With the help from Angels for Animals; we saved "Oso"! And,didn't we luck out!  Curry is the most gentle, loving, sweet dog...and a chow on top of that!  So much for stereotypes!



"Barney" was at the Harbor Shelter for months. When he arrived at the shelter in April of 2019, he was dragging his hind legs.  X-rays showed he had abnormalities in his pelvis and hip sockets, yet he remained in great spirits. We adopted him on July 26, 2019.  He has no idea his x-rays show abnormalities as he runs around the farm with his tail wagging. He is quite a talkative soul and likes to bark when he is happy. He barks a lot!



We saved Candy in 2013 after another dog we had for only a few months, tragically, died suddenly.  Clive was heartbroken and needed a new chew toy.  Candy, a 2008 mix of unknown breeds who we adopted from the Palmdale Animal Care Center, was the answer.  She is our Alpha and keeps everyone in line.  At 11 years of age, she is a senior now!  Ssh. Don't tell her that; her nickname is "fastest dog."



This dog was literally dumped from a moving pick-up truck at the cemetery up the street from our farm.    In 2012. at two  years of age and un-neutered,  he was quite a handful.  He has mellowed with age, but still thinks he is the Alpha.  He is quite the love and a favorite of many of the clients at Goldspirit Farm.

Those that left our home but not our hearts in 2018 and 2019



We never expected to lose Copper so soon.  One minute she was fine; the next she was shaking and her stomach was bloated.  She was in pain and it up to us to ensure she did not suffer.  We will miss this sweet, happy dog! she was not a planned rescue, but we were always so glad we did!  Before we became an adoption partner with the County of Los Angeles, we were prohibited from adopting "rescue only" dogs.  Susan went to the  Downey Animal Care Center to adopt a dog that had to be an only dog but  we did not have the pull rights to take her.   We could only save one dog that day. After meeting several dogs, we chose Copper. She is a funny looking 2008 golden retriever mix.  Paul calls her "Happy" because she always is!  Of course, she is always hungry too!  That's dogs! 



After thirteen years at Goldspirit Farm, Cosmo was finally ready to say goodbye.  On Thursday February 7, Cosmo he didn't want to eat or get up.  We set an appointment with the vet, and gave him a last great day. He had cat food ( what dog doesn't love cat food), turkey and even dog food. He walked to the barn for the last time and put himself to bed for his final good-bye.  Cosmos came into our life one day in 2006. he was waiting at the gate as if to say, "May I come in?" At fifteen, Cosmo was the longest four-legged resident at Goldspirit farm.  



His name was "Muerto" on the owner surrender papers.  Volunteers changed his name to "Vivo."  When we rescued this 2009 Pit Bull from the Los Angeles County Lancaster Animal Care Center, he could not walk on his hind legs; he dragged them behind.  We thought we were going to have to humanely euthanize him.  Lo and behold what a little steroid can do! Not only can he walk, but he can climb the steps into the dogominum and even run. at his pace! For two months Champ was loved, was able to be free and wander the grounds, and have lots of 4-legged friends. Unfortunately, his time with us was too short; he died in his sleep only two months after we rescued him.  



When we lose one dog, we can't wait to save another. Clouseau was adopted from the North Central Los Angeles Shelter to honor Champ's passing.  Clouseau was a ten year old gray staffordshire terrier just like champ.  He had four good legs to walk on, but quite a lot of arthritis.  He fit in great with all the ladies and gents.  He was a sweet soul and we were happy to welcome him into our pack. Clouseau had a grade 4 heart murmur, but it was a sudden bout with cancer in his leg that caused his passing.  These darn dogs come into our lives, and we hope to have so much time with them.  We were glad to give him his last months with joy and love.



This sweet dog was so abused when we adopted her, she was afraid to be petted. She came to us a ten year old stray.  She was deaf and partially blind. Shortly after we adopted her she was diagnosed with tumors. We didn't think we would have much time with her, but we figured she wanted to live ten years of a good life to make up for her bad life.  She lived for over three years with us.  One day she heard my voice in the barn, walked from her bed and literally laid down at my feet.  She died shortly after that moment. She died with me by her side, cradling her and giving her the love she deserved.



If ever there was a dog that needed saving!  Cornelius was owner surrendered at the Los Angeles City East Valley Shelter with a request to put him down!  He was 15, semi- crippled, and mostly blind with all sorts of lumps.  He looked like a dog that could be in the movie Nightmare Before Christmas!  He had lots of spunk!  He wanted to get with all the girls.  He was Crackerjack's best friend.  One night, he just seemed a little off, and the next day he went to sun himself and simply fell asleep.  We gave him five wonderful months.



 "Pup" was an hour away from being PTS at the Los Angeles County Palmdale Animal Care Center when we adopted her.  They said she could not get up or walk; you should see the video of her springing out of the shelter. This 2003, 16 year young dog loved to walk the entire 660 meter gallop track every day!  Nothing slowed her down! It is so great to see a dog that was called crippled, walking for hours. She was living it up! Poor chance woke up one morning not feeling well.  A trip to the vet's office revealed a tumor in her spleen.  We have dealt with that before; we thought she would be ok for a bit.  Unfortunately, she was quite uncomfortable that evening.  We stayed with her all night until she passed peacefully in her sleep.



 Susan went to the Lancaster Animal Care Center to adopt a fifteen year old dog who was rescued by another non-profit.  Not wanting to leave empty handed, she found Crooked.  Crooked was owner surrendered that day; she had not even been evaluated by a veterinarian yet.  She could barely walk or stand on her own.  We thought for sure we were adopting a hospice  dog. It turns out, however, that old dog vestibular syndrome was quite treatable, and fairly inexpensive.  She sometimes walked in circles and held her head at a tilt.  Hence the name. She blessed us with her presence for 13 months. We lost her to cancer August 26, 2019.   



 "Penelope,"  a 2006 Staffordshire Terrier, was not doing well at the West Valley Animal Shelter.   She was depressed, shutting down and had trouble moving around and getting up.  Without our intervention, this adorable dog would not be with us now.  With a little arthritis medicine, love, and room to move, her arthritis doesn't hold her back. We hoped her name would give her encouragement, and we think it worked! Though her arthritic knees make her very bowed legged,  it does not keep her from walking to  the barn and back, and cruising around the property every day.   She was a fighter up until the end.  She had cancer which started on her lip; we treated it for months. Eventually, the cancer throughout her body won, as it always does. RIP my lovebug

What's in a name?

You may have noticed that every dog has a name beginning with the letter "C."  Susan adopted her first dog the day she closed escrow at Goldspirit Farm.  She named her Cody.  She then saved Chrissy from a life on a chain.  Cujo was a 145 pound German Shepherd that Susan found blocking the driveway on a nearby farm.  A client convinced Susan to adopt Cali because she had a "C" name and would fit in with the group. Then one morning two puppies were dumped in a box outside the gate.  Susan's brother took one puppy who lived to be fifteen.   The other puppy was named Oscar.  After only two weeks at the farm, this eight week old Old English Sheepdog mix went for a walk over the hill and never came back.  It was decided that all dogs living at Goldspirit Farm needed a "C" name.  A few dogs have few come through our gates and were adopted out before were given a "C"name.  Since 1999 the following dogs with a "C" name have had a short or long stay at Goldspirit Farm:

Cody,   Chrissy,    Cali,    Cujo,   C.D,    Charlie,   Cookie ,   Chopper,   Colonel,   Cupcake,   Connie,    Curly,  Clondike,   Citty,   Chocolate,   Caluha,   Camper,    Carmel,    Carli,    Cutie Pie,    Corky,    Charlotte,   C.C,  Cassie,    Coffee,   Charity,    Cornelius,  Charles,   CoCo,   Chicken Little,   Charcoal,   Cozy,   Catie,   Cotton,  Cosmo,   Chester, Clive, Candy,   Cinnamon,   Crystal,   Cappaccino,   Cornbread,   Crackerjack,   Clover,    Crooked,  Copper,   Courage,   Crusty,   Cooper,   Cruiser,   Chance,   Champ,  Clouseau,  Cleopatra,  Cow,  Curry,  Clarence,  Cashew,  Countess,  Calm,  Cool,  Crinkle,  Captain Jack, Clarence, Cow