Adopt a Senior Pet Month

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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.”

Adopt a Senior Pet Month

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.

7 COMMENTS

  1. My last few rescues were senior (one VERY senior) and they were my angels on earth. Sometimes it’s heartbreaking because you don’t have them for long and the care can be expensive because some come with medical issues, HOWEVER, it is worth it! Also, the rescue group I’ve been through has reduced the adoption fee to almost nothing for older seniors. Their adoption fee is usually to cover the vet costs they incur when they first have the rescue evaluated so I don’t mind paying anyway. Senior rescues are generally already trained and seem so happy to be in a home again they are a joy for as long as you have them. I agree that sometimes they end up in rescue because of non-behavioral issues. One of mine, the owner could no longer handle the medical issues; for another rescue, she was relinquished from a puppy mill where she had been practically bred to death. I whole-heartedly recommend senior adoptions to everyone – the minute someone says they want a puppy, I say, no you want to adopt an older pet! They are joys and truly angels on earth.

  2. Great news! We plan on adopting a senior dog next time around. Our current dogs are 8, 9 and 14 and don’t think we have the energy for a puppy as we are young seniors.

    • Try going through a breed rescue organization or go directly to a local shelter or humane society online websites. They post pictures online of the pets available for adoption. Good luck!

  3. I agree that older dogs are great- I adopted a senior spaniel and the rescue group was wonderful and helped with her medical bills ( she had ear issues etc)she did pass away about 3 years after I adopted her.I still regret that I didnt know her longer and I wish I had done more to make her last years better .I got a puppy while I had her and I feel guilty about this as it took attention and time away from her..She was so easy going unlike my current dog who I love but who is very high maintenance she was so low maintenance.My cat is also an adopted senior I got her at 5 years old from a breeder who no longer had use for her and she is a delight – clever ,affectionate and she seamlessly blended in even though she had no previous experience with dogs.No litter box issues, no crazy kitten activity so also remember older cats can be great companions.

  4. I adopted an 8.5 year old retired racer greyhound and she had been kept for breeding 3x . I hadn’t expected to rehome a grey this senior but oh the joy she is giving me is so wonderful. I am also a senior at 72 so we have bonded incredibly fast and I can now ,after having her for 9 months , take her places to walk and run/sprint that i would never have thought I could take a high prey drive hound off lead and not have her disappear into the distance. She happily returns to my side after her exercise.
    I have always got my previous dogs from shelters. Love cross breeds

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