Relinquished senior pets are the most vulnerable animals in the shelter. Their former lives are lost and they feel it. Once used to a sunny window or a warm bed, they may huddle at the back of their cage, scared and confused, making them appear less adoptable. Sadly, these older animals are overlooked while adopters, not knowing the benefits of adopting an older pet, go to shelters or rescue organizations looking for puppies or kittens.
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month and we encourage all potential adopters to consider an older pet! Some shelters even waive the adoption fees for senior pets.
Here are some reasons why you should bring a senior pet into your home:
1. Adopting a senior pet will save its life. When shelters become overcrowded, older animals are the first to be euthanized simply due to their age. Additionally, senior pets can become ill from the stress of being in a shelter and from the trauma of losing their home and family. They can suffer unbearable grief and sadness because the life they once had is gone.
2. They have experience being part of a family. Many shelter pets have already been well socialized with families and other pets before being relinquished. Senior cats are already litter trained, and senior dogs are often housebroken and know basic commands.This can allow them to fit right in with your family.
3. What you see is what you get. Senior pets are fully matured. You'll know it's size, grooming needs, temperament (e.g. - is the dog or cat good with other dogs or cats? Will they fare well with children?) They often have a story that can be woven into your family's fabric (maybe the dog loves water and you live near a lake or pond!).
4. Age is just a number. It is a myth that age means health problems; age is not a disease. Younger pets can have health problems that lead to large medical bills too. Plus, often age related conditions, such as arthritis, can be managed with proper veterinary care.
5. They can "chillax." Senior pets are typically less active. Perhaps you have kids leaving home or you’re a senior yourself who may have a less active lifestyle. While they still need exercise, seniors pets are usually happy with a nice walk or a warm lap to curl up in.
6. Lastly, everyone deserves a second chance.
Take advantage of this awesome month and adopt a loving senior pet from your local shelter! You might end up asking yourself, “Who saved who?”