Adopting Senior Pets
Senior pets are often overlooked in shelters, but let's give them another look! We shouldn't assume they've lived a life of hardship and despair. In fact, many older pets end up in shelters simply because they're owners could no longer care for them properly. Sometimes their owners have passed on, or in some cases the financial or physical responsibility has become too much of a burden. (Several organizations are working to alleviate the financial burden so that pets can remain with their families, but that's a topic for another post! Danny & Ron's Rescue is one local group that has a fund specifically for this purpose. )
Think about the positive aspects of adopting an older pet:
- A senior pet is likely to be calmer than a young pet.
- It's past the housebreaking and mischievous destruction phase, so you can spend less time training and more time bonding.
- Older pets may have already experienced living with other pets or with children in the home, so they can easily fit into this environment again.
We have many customers who've adopted older pets, and everyone loves to share their stories. A few have told us they've taken in their friend's or neighbor's pet when that person has passed away. In one instance, a dog was left to a woman in her best friend's will! In these situations, the issue is that the pet has been so well cared for (AKA "spoiled"), the new owners are trying to figure out how to keep the dog or cat happy! But in all these instances, the owners couldn't be happier with the love they're getting from these older companions.
There are always considerations before adopting a pet of any age. With a senior pet, you'll want to find out it's temperament and medical conditions. Be sure to deal with a reputable shelter or rescue group who will make sure you're the right match for the pet's needs and vice versa. Keep your mind (and heart) open to the possibility of adopting an older pet. If you already have, please tell us about it!
For leads on adopting a senior pet, contact a reputable rescue group like Palm Beach Shelter Dog Project. This organization takes dogs out of the Palm Beach shelter in order to socialize them and get a good understanding of their needs. If you happen to adopt one of their older pets (8+ years), you'll get a bunch of gifts for your new family member, funded by their "Old Friends" fund! (For info, see https://www.facebook.com/ShelterDogProject/)