Introducing SeniorPAWS

We’re excited to introduce a new project called SeniorPAWS. SeniorPAWS is a new partnership project with the St. John’s Living Center that will enhance the quality of life of Living Center residents while providing a foster home for an adoptable dog pulled from a regional shelter. This is a symbiotic project, both people and pets greatly benefitting from their time together.


Joey, an 8-year-old special blend of chihuahua, miniature pincher, and anyone’s guess made her journey from the Snake River Animal Shelter in Idaho Falls to Jackson on Friday, January 10th as the first SeniorPAWS dog. We selected Joey based on her age, size, and initial plucky demeanor and it turns out she was originally surrendered to the shelter because of her elderly owner’s failing health. She spent her first weekend with our Program Director, Jess, and immediately made herself at home.

Meet Joey


Joey and PAWS staff dogs

While fostered by our staff, Joey received a much-needed dental cleaning and bloodwork panel to ensure this spry senior lady was healthy, and indeed she is. Joey was introduced to the Living Center, on Tuesday, January 14th and never looked back… all while we were sniffling to see her leave our office.

Joey and LC resident, Fred

Joey and L.C. staff member

Upon her arrival, Joey immediately fell right in-tune with Living Center staff and residents, helping herself to anyone’s lap without hesitation. Not only was Joey phenomenal with her new residents, but it was visible how much she enjoyed herself interacting with them. Living Center staff members relayed that residents who suffer from memory loss have been able to remember who Joey is, her age, and why she is there… it is truly remarkable. Director of Life Enrichment Connie Hansen states, “Joey has already brought much joy to many of our residents. Her presence is truly therapeutic for some.”

Can you tell that we’re leading up to something? We’re excited to announce that Connie officially adopted Joey on Monday.

Joey and her official adopter, Connie

Joey will be residing at the Living Center as the permanent SeniorPAWS Ambassador dog. Her life will serve a higher purpose. We are confident that having Joey permanently within the Living Center family will ease the future SeniorPAWS dogs’ transitions from the Living Center into their new adopters’ homes. It’s always difficult to let go of a foster pet, but Joey’s consistent presence will benefit the residents and will make transitioning future dogs out of the Living Center much easier. Once Joey is settled in, a new SeniorPAWS foster dog will be introduced into the Living Center community and then eventually become available for adoption. Stay tuned to meet them.