'The Little Old Ones': Belgium's retirement home for elderly animals

In southern Belgium there is a care home that accommodates 150 aging animals, living out their final days in peace.

The home is run by Valerie Luycx, below, and is called Les Petits Vieux (The Little Old Ones).

Valerie Luycx, a founder of the association Image copyright Reuters

The animal shelter, located in rural Chievres in the province of Hainaut in the south of Belgium, is home to Pastis the pot-bellied pig, below, along with a number of elderly cats, dogs, ponies and goats, photographed here by Yves Herman from Reuters.

Valerie Luycx with Pastis, a 10-year-old Vietnamese pig Image copyright Reuters

All the animals either have health problems or have been given up because their owners were too old to care for them.

Residents include Azuria, a 15-year-old European cat (below left), and Ramses, a nine-year-old Carlin dog.

Composite photo of Azuria the cat and Ramses the Carlin dog Image copyright Reuters

There is also Calin the cat, who may not be a fan of being photographed.

Calin, a European cat, looks out of a hole in the wall Image copyright Reuters

Calin is seen below enjoying being stroked, whilst Yam the nine-year-old Saint Bernard dog poses for a portrait.

A composite photo of Valerie Luycx with Calin the cat and Yam the nine-year-old Saint Bernard dog poses for a portrait Image copyright Reuters

Valerie founded the shelter in 2000 with her husband Serge. She said: "We wanted to recreate family life for the animals."

On the left here is Choupy, a 14-year-old Yorkshire Terrier.

Valerie Luycx at home with her animals Image copyright Reuters

And here we have Caracol, a 10-year-old Spanish Galgo dog, or greyhound.

Caracol, a 10-year-old Spanish Galgo Image copyright Reuters

The residents are allowed to play with each other and lounge quietly on sofas.

Dogs are seen from above Image copyright Reuters
Valerie Luycx with animals Image copyright Reuters
Valerie Luycx is seen with Pastis a 10-year-old Vietnamese pig Image copyright Reuters

Photos by Yves Herman.

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