November Is Adopt A Senior Pet Month

Senior Pet

November is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) Adopt a Senior Pet Month — a month dedicated to the often overlooked senior animals who come into shelters.

Watauga Humane Society shelter manager Lynn Northup said it is often hard to find new homes for senior pets when they come into a shelter because most people want to adopt a puppy or a kitten.

Northup said most of the senior animals that come into shelters are not strays, but instead they come from families that can no longer keep them.

She added that adopting a senior pet is rewarding because owners get to see the pet live out their life in a loving home.

Here are some reasons to adopt a senior pet:

  • What You See is What You Get: With adopted older dogs or cats you will usually know about any behavior challenges or health considerations before you adopt. In other words, there should be no surprises.
  • Previous Training: Adult animals often already know how to live harmoniously with humans. In general, adult dogs and cats require far less supervision and less constant care, which can make them ideal companions for people with busy lives. They are already litter box or house trained. An older dog might also have some obedience training.
  • Matching Lifestyles: An adult animal’s relatively calm demeanor and less intense exercise needs make them the perfect match for an older person seeking friendship and love and in a full-time working household. They often make excellent companions for other animals.

Source: Mountain Times, Oregon Humane Society

Photo: takeabreak

12 Responses to “November Is Adopt A Senior Pet Month”

  1. Nikki says:

    We have adopted three “golden girls” from our local Humane Society over the past three years — all were ten years of age or older at the time of adoption. And all have been wonderful additions to our family. Our first, Jesse, was 11 y.o. when she was surrendered to the Humane Society Silicon Valley by the very same family who adopted her as a puppy 11 years earlier from the same shelter. They were moving, they said, and couldn’t (or wouldn’t) take old Jess with them. Her intake papers revealed she’d been tied up in a backyard for all of her 11 years. From boredom, Jesse took to chewing on rocks which, over the years had worn all her front teeth down to the gum-line. When we found her on the HSSV’s website, she had been at the shelter for over six weeks and, in spite of the local newspaper featuring her as “dog of the week,” she had no prospects and little hope of adoption. We knew she was the dog for us. Jesse was a black lab mix. Her first months with us were so incredibly joyful, as every thing we introduced her to — hikes in the mountains, wading in creeks, walks over foot bridges, glimpses of wildlife — was like a new experience for her. In spite of her 11 years, such new discoveries transformed Jesse into a puppy filled with wonder. We watched as Jess blossomed from a fearful, timid old dog into a confident and curious girl full of youthful energy. Sadly, we lost Jesse after just one year due to an inoperable hemangiosarcoma on her spleen. The rewards she gave us during those 12 short months, however, were immeasurable. After her passing, we adopted from the HSSV two more seniors: 10 y.o. Lucy, a pittie mix who had been at the shelter for four months, and 10 y.o. Maggie, a greyhound/shar-pei mix who had been at the shelter nearly six months. Neither of them had had any prospects in all those months of adoption. Sadly, they would likely have died there had we not come along.

    If you are thinking about giving an old dog (or two) a permanent retirement home, please do it. You will be rewarded a thousand times over with the love and gratitude these wonderful mature pets have to offer.

  2. Carolyn & Maggie says:

    Nikki, thanks for sharing your experiences with senior dogs. Your accounts of each of the three golden girls were very moving. Each one of them must have loved her life with you and you obviously took pleasure in each of them. How wonderful that the latter parts of their lives were so rich and rewarding. Our Maggie was adopted as a 2-3 yo adult and she has been such a pleasure. While her age can’t measure up against your seniors — and I do adore puppies! — as an adult dog, she was so easy to integrate into our home and every day with her has been a delight. I would definitely adopt an adult dog again and keep my eye open for a senior dog.

  3. Nikki says:

    Carolyn and Maggie: :-)

  4. Janine says:

    Wonderful stories of the joy seniors bring! My first experience in adopting a dog, a little over a year ago, was a senior German Shepard mix. Badly abused originally, he is now such an amazing, thoughtful, gentle, kind old guy I think every day about how lucky I am to have him. I know our time will be short, but the ease of transition for him into a household full of cats and 2 working adults has been amazing. My Brandon is an angel, perfectly behaved, potty trained, just happy to be by my side. We recently got an older puppy and it again reinforced the ease and simplicity of adopting a senior :-)

  5. mittens says:

    if you can find it in tour heart to adopt a senior do it. all my older cats were rescues mostly aged well over kittenhood-all together they gave me near 20 years of living with the best cats in the world- all from animals who might well have been euthanized as older and thus unadoptable. kittens are cute as hell i will admit but everyone wants a kitten. in all likelihood you’ll get a trained animal who knows the score-having known a home and lost it imagine giving an animal that second chance! what could be more rewarding? they know and they appreciate it i am sure. everyone loved my cats- even those who personally disliked felines. despite a few (resolved )issues here and there associated with thier past circumstances, i have to say all my seniors were just the best pets.

    one common enough occurrance are pets given to shelters by the families of their owners who have passed or are being placed in care- my 10 year old pure bred himmie was sadly the unfortunate victim of this. i believe her pure bred status is the only thing that kept her alive long enough for me to adopt her. that someone’s beloved pet faced such a circumstance was too much for me( she’s a bit of a princess brat too which didnt bode well for her)- i had to have her. i kept thinking- this could happen to my pets if something happened to me and no one was willing to take them in or follow the demands of my will. and ive always been a sucker for the undercat and the oddballs no one wants.

  6. kaefamily says:

    This past Tuesday I tagged along with a good friend’s family to Baldwin Park Animal shelter, CA. It was my first experience. It was heart-breaking. It took nerves of steel to visit these places. There were so many pit bulls, pit bull mixed, and senior dogs that would have no chance to a good loving home. I saw a matted filthy toy poodle like pup with its flaps of skin hanging and missing showing only the pinkish young layer beneath. I wanted to adopt that one but an owner of an animal rescue was step (or several) ahead of me. I was glad! Still, that image haunted me for three days! A happy ending: my friend adopted two adult mutts. I am dog-sitting the one year old Border Collie/Cocker/Spring Spaniel named Freckles. He’s everything opposed our own lit’ terrier mutt.

  7. Sandy says:

    I absolutely love these stories of senior adoptions! Up until recently I have always found, rescued, whatever, younger dogs. They usually ran out in front of my car, found them eating a dead deer on the side of the road, etc. About a year ago I was with my mom who was adopting a little chihuahua from a rescue in Colorado. We met at the Humane Society and I saw this little Cocker Spaniel just huddling in the corner scared to death. They told me that she was 10 years old and given up by the family for unknown reasons. I took her home and she is just the biggest love in the world!

    Then, the local rescue here had a little old poodle and daschund that was believed to have come from a puppy mill and they were about 12-14 years old. Nobody wanted them. I took them both because I could not stand to see them separated and with no home. They are wonderful. I just recently gave them to my mom whose old pit bull/rottweiller mix passed on and because six was becoming a handfull. It was great for her and it was great for them because they appreciate the near 24 hour care that they deserve. Plus, I still get to see them every day.

    To anyone considering senior adoption, I would strongly suggest it! It is very rewarding. So, Kaefamily…don’t give up, there are many dogs out there who need homes, who are older and considered by many as unadoptable.

  8. ellie says:

    Two and a half years ago, I adopted a senior cat who’d been living at my vet’s office, where she’d been dumped a few months before. Her age then was about 15. She’s a lovely, affectionate, sweet little cat who just wants to eat and sleep and cuddle. She’s in good health and still gets around with no problems. I’m lucky to have her in her twilight years.

  9. Nyssa says:

    i adopted a senior kitty from a shelter just out of melbourne. she’s a bit of a mystery, but tilly is the fluffiest and loveliest thing you’ve ever met! she already knew how a litter box worked, she talks a lot, and loves lots of pats. i work and i live on my own (boyfriend is around a bit too) but it’s so nice to come home to her.

    she’s babysitting my mum at the moment while mum does some chemo, and mum and dad are quite inspired too. =) mum doesn’t know yet, but after christmas, she’ll get to pick a kitty of her own, and she’ll probably get an adult cat because they know how to roll.

  10. Dog Care Tips says:

    Dog Care Tips

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article, but it sounds interesting

  11. Toy Poodle Training. | says:

    […] Pet blog Pet Poodle Play Dead: Rare Sleeping Ailment - Entirely PetsHunting Dogs | FIM MarketingNovember Is Adopt A Senior Pet Month | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats Tags toy poodle for sale toy poodle breeder toy poodle puppy toy poodle dog trainer poodle puppy […]

  12. pia lima says:

    I love senior dogs!!! I live in an adult community and we help finance senior adoptions…Unfortunately, too many rescue groups charge $200-$300 to adopt a pet who will need extra vet care, so we do fundraisers to help out. These older pets are great and should be given free - or almost - to seniors wishing to adopt……

E-mail It