Hotel for Dogs

Jimmy’s Place cares for hospitalized seniors’ pets
By JoAnna Lou, August 2010

One of the best things about our pets is that we can count of them to love us no matter what, in sickness and in health. Fortunately if anything were to happen to me, I have family and friends nearby to take care of my dogs. However, many elderly dog guardians may not have a social network to lean on when they have to go to the hospital.

Now seniors in Osceola County, Florida can rest assured that their pets will be well taken care of when they need to go to the hospital. Jimmy’s Place is a pet hotel where seniors can house their pets free of charge when they are hospitalized. Area residents can even pre-register ahead of time so that volunteers have the information needed to step in during an emergency. 
Jimmy’s Place was formed in honor of Jimmy Scarborough, a volunteer with the local Meals on Wheels. When Jimmy noticed that seniors were sharing their meals with their pets, he started buying pet food to distribute along his route. Eventually Osceola Council on Aging organized pet food drives to supply all Meals on Wheels drivers with dog and cat food.
After Jimmy’s death in 1998, his friends at Osceola Council on Aging wanted to do something to honor his legacy. They knew that Jimmy always used to talk about how seniors could be in the middle of a heart attack and refuse to go to the hospital because they didn’t want to leave their pet at home. So Jimmy’s friends decided to form a pet hotel to give hospital bound seniors peace of mind.
Jimmy’s Place has been getting calls from around the country from communities looking to start a similar pet hotel. Contact Osceola Council on Aging if you’re interested in donating to Jimmy’s Place or would like information to start a pet hotel in your area.


JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.