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Meet Newman

Newman was found as a stray wandering the streets of a Chicago suburb in 2014. He was estimated to be at least 13 years old.

Somehow, this tiny 6lb dog who could barely walk managed to survive. He was not a healthy or mobile dog, but when my family stumbled upon him at our local shelter, pathetic and scared in a tiny crate, we couldn't leave without him. When we told a shelter staff member that we were interested in adopting Newman, they said, "You don't want this dog. Wait until younger, better dogs come in next week."

I've been on a mission ever since to advocate for senior cats and dogs in need and encourage others to see the beauty in these old souls. Newman Nation has saved over 300 seniors since our start in 2017 and we won't be stopping any time soon.

- Zoe Kharasch, Founder & Executive Director

The First Senior

Pepe was a 10-year-old senior dog surrendered to the shelter in rough shape. He had severe eye problems, various health issues, and was heartworm positive. I had just received our 501(c)3 determination letter and had yet to collect any donations, but I knew this dog needed an organization like Newman Nation to help him. Pepe became the very first senior saved by Newman Nation in January 2017 and was later adopted by his foster family.

Due to the high cost of their veterinary care and a stigma of being "less adoptable," older cats and dogs are one of the most at-risk groups in shelters and can easily end up on the euthanasia list simply due to their age. This is why Newman Nation is committed to giving seniors the second chance they deserve by placing them in foster or adoptive homes and providing the necessary veterinary care to allow for quality of life.


My  Background

I founded Newman Nation: Senior Pets United during my senior year of college as I was pursuing my Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I gained valuable experience from an internship as the Associate Director of a local foster-based rescue, personally admitting over 100 cats and dogs into the program.

Newman changed my life and gave it purpose and an undying passion. I knew I wanted to help other senior pets to continue his legacy and the idea of Newman Nation was formed. I submitted the necessary paperwork (after spending hours Googling how to become a nonprofit) and received 501(c)3 status in December 2016.

Although Newman Nation has been established for more than five years now, I still choose to run it on my own. I rely heavily on my dedicated fosters to help determine the best course of action for our seniors and volunteers who help with transport.


Thank you for trusting me with the lives of vulnerable pets and donating to my mission!

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