November is Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month. I am a little biased, as I just adore older pets. The last two dogs I adopted were above the age of seven, one was nine years old at the time (still alive and kicking at 14!) and my latest one is 14 years old. Surprisingly, our latest addition is more playful than my other two; he tires quickly, but is a blast to have around.
One comment I get quite often is "they will only be around for the next couple of years." First, I am aware of that. Second, it doesn't make their life any less meaningful than a puppy's or a kitten's life. Don't get me wrong, puppies and kittens are really cute and are enjoyable, but so are the older pets. One big difference is that the puppies and kittens are also a lot of work that, personally, I don't have time for. If someone wants to adopt a puppy or a kitten, that is wonderful - they all are in need of homes, too - they just don't fit my lifestyle.
The purpose of this letter is to bring awareness of all the older dogs and cats that are currently in animal shelters and rescue groups. They are still very much overlooked and are the first to be euthanized across the United States. There is an over abundance of healthy senior pets looking for a special home to cherish them for the rest of their lives. In recent years, many older pets find themselves in shelters just because their owners can no longer afford to care for them. That doesn't make them bad pets.
Here are a few great points about bringing home these older pets. They generally adjust pretty well as they already know basic household rules. They like to share quiet moments, are most likely house-trained, and usually do not chew or scratch everything in sight. The old adage - "what you see is what you get" - fits perfect. From the start, you'll know important things like their full-grown size, personality, and grooming requirements. From my experiences, this list could go on.
Most importantly, I want to encourage everyone, when the times comes to add that special friend to your family, give the older dogs and cats consideration, you just may be surprised at what you find!