RAMONA, Calif. (KGTV) -- As humans, we can't get enough of dog photos and videos, and even though being cute and easy to look at is one thing they share in common, their age often makes a big difference in which shelters end up in.
Senior dogs don't have a lot of years left, with an average life span of 15. But for those who adopt the dogs, the reward is well worth the investment.
"They open up slowly, but when they do, it's so incredible. You see them grow this personality and become comfortable and interact with the environment around them," Alanna Koehler said.
Koehler knows first hand. She eventually became a human parent to a "Frosted Face" after fostering one with a cognitive dysfunction disease.
"Having given her that safe and warm environment, she started to open up, prance, play, and interact with us," Koehler said.
She said that without the help of adopted parents, volunteers, and donors, things would worsen, and they have been this year.
"Not only do we see an uptick in strays, but an uptick in owner surrender, so it gives us this perfect storm of dogs being left behind and abandoned. Shelters are completely overwhelmed," said Koehler.
With more folks traveling, the Fourth of July causing an uptick in runaway dogs, and people returning to normalcy with no time for pets, shelters including Ramona-based nonprofit Frosted Faces, have hit a wall.
"If they don't have space for fosters, unfortunately, a lot of those dogs will be euthanized," said Koehler.
So Frosted Faces fetched a new goal this summer with their campaign, I Am the Storm.
"Instead of being caught in the middle of the storm, we are the storm. We're trying to combat this as much as we can by taking in as many dogs, getting as many dogs into fosters, and raising money for medical care," said Koehler.
This July, they're aiming to house 50 dogs to foster or adopted parents so they can take in a new set of seniors. They're also hoping to gather more frosted "fan" donors to continue covering lifetime medical costs for their canines once they find a home.
"When you're seeing healthy, treatable animals getting euthanized for space, in addition to seniors deemed unadopatable, it's a lot to carry, and it's heavy and sad," said Kelly Smisek, executive director of Frosted Faces.
Jen Burrell, a Frosted Faces donor and volunteer, added, "You can feel their gratitude, and they respond with love and kindness."