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Ben's Bells: Volunteer creates store to help get senior dogs get adopted
Ben’s Bells

Ben's Bells: Volunteer creates store to help get senior dogs get adopted

  • Updated

Bellee John Gilbert created a space at La Encantada mall where older shelter dogs can be seen and adopted.

What: Ben’s Bells promotes kindness and community involvement. Each week a person who makes Tucson better is “belled.”

Last week’s recipient: John Gilbert

Nominated by: Jamie Roach

Why: For his work with Tucson Rescue Now, which he founded. TRN is dedicated to getting senior dogs out of shelters and into forever homes. When John volunteered at the Pima Animal Care Center, he saw older dogs being overlooked because, generally, they had been living in a home before they were surrendered by a family and they are terrified by the chaos in a shelter, Roach wrote in the nomination letter. Gilbert realized they needed to be showcased differently for people to see the dogs’ real personalities. So he opened a space in La Encantada shopping center and every day brings a small number of senior dogs from PACC to the TRN adoption store. The dogs hang out all day on comfortable sofas in quiet and stress-free play pens. “Volunteers give them love, attention and massages until that special human comes into the adoption store, sees something in one of the dogs and decides to take him/her home,” Roach wrote. If a dog does not get adopted that day, he/she goes back to the shelter and will return the following day. “Since John opened the store last October, TRN has facilitated adoptions of more than 100 senior shelter dogs,” Roach wrote.

For more information: Go to to submit a name. Go to or call 622-1379.

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