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'Vintage Pet Rescue' giving senior dogs new life

FOSTER, R.I. (WPRI) — A senior dog rescue in Foster has stepped in to help a woman battling cancer.

Linda Roberts' four Chihuahuas, ages 14 and 17, have been with her their whole lives. She calls them "The Doodles."

When she was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year while living in Florida, she was concerned about what would happen to her dogs.

"I got diagnosed with fourth stage lung cancer, and I had no support network in Florida and the doctors said that I might die without a support network," Roberts said.

Linda moved from Florida to Rhode Island to be with her sister while she undergoes cancer treatment.

"She couldn't take four dogs. She told me she just couldn't," Roberts said. "We thought we might have to euthanize them which would have killed me."

Roberts and her sister both searched for a new home for the Chihuahuas and they found Vintage Pet Rescue in Foster.

"We thought it would be a great opportunity to help Linda and take in these dogs, who seemed wonderful," said founder Kristen Peralta.

Peralta and her husband Marc's love of senior dogs led them to found the non-profit, Vintage Pet Rescue, which serves as a sort of "retirement home" for senior dogs.

"We want to make sure that their last months or years are spent in a comfortable and safe and happy," said Peralta, "We thought we'd mostly be taking in dogs from the shelter and taking care of them, but with the human aspect that we've been able to touch has been really great."

Vintage Pet Rescue is now home to 27 dogs, with "The Doodles" included, while Linda focuses on her treatment.

"Being able to provide this comfort to Linda, when she really needs it the most, has been really special," said Peralta.

"Thank God to Kristen and Marc they are still part of my life. In between when I visit she sends me pictures and we talk, and she takes fabulous care of all my doodles," Roberts said.

For most of the dogs, this is their permanent and final home, but Linda is hoping she will be able to take care of her dogs once again when she is doing better.

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