Why am I just learning about this now? Apparently, some years ago, the ASPCA and Petfinder.com founded November as “Adopt a Senior Pet” month. Both of those organizations promote the benefits of adopting older dogs and cats – defined as just 5 years old or older. Many people are reluctant to adopt older adult dogs and cats, so they tend to experience longer stays in shelters and are at higher risk of euthanasia.
NationalToday.com has an unusually accurate summation of the problem that’s being addressed by National Adopt a Senior Pet Month:
“One misconception older animals suffer from is that they are in shelters because of their destructive or bad behavior. Though this is far from the truth, there are many reasons why a pet would end up in a shelter. Many of these senior pets were once someone’s faithful companions. Changing home circumstances, financial restrictions, death, or relocation can have adverse effects on a pet’s life. These pets have much to offer, and they are usually adaptable. Younger pets can be adorable, but they also demand a lot of attention and can be destructive and very hard work to keep up with. Usually, an older pet can easily fit into your lifestyle and adapt well to a loving new home.”
But here’s a delicious bit of good news: In honor of this national designation, premium pet food maker Stella & Chewy’s is sponsoring the adoption of senior pets – reimbursing adoption fees from a licensed 501(c)(3) non-profit shelter or rescue organization located in the United States or a shelter or rescue organization that is a registered charity in Canada. How cool is that? The fine print: Stella & Chewy has committed $80,000 to this effort, and when they’ve exhausted that amount, their sponsorship will end. So if you know someone who is on the fence about adopting an adult dog (or cat!), tell them about this promotion and see if you can push them over to the joys of adopting a worthy senior. See this link for more details.