About Newman Nation

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 little 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 small crate, we couldn’t leave without him. A shelter staff member said to us, “You don’t want this dog. Wait until more younger, better dogs come in next week.”

I’ve been on a mission ever since to advocate for the senior cats and dogs in need and encourage others to see the beauty in these old souls, especially the ones with special needs or those requiring hospice care.

– Zoe Kharasch, Founder & Executive Director


I founded Newman Nation: Senior Pets United during my senior year at college as I was pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an interest in shelter management. 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.

The idea was formed, the necessary paperwork submitted, and I received a letter granting 501(c)3 status in December 2016. Over 300 lives have been saved since I founded Newman Nation: Senior Pets United and I hope there are hundreds more to come!

The 1st Senior

Pepe was a senior dog surrendered to a high-kill Texas shelter. He was in rough shape, with severe eye issues and a positive heartworm test, among other problems. I saw his post on Facebook, secured a foster home (who later made him a permanent member of their family), and Pepe became the very first senior to be saved by Newman Nation in January 2017.

Help Save More Senior Pets