Lefty-snaggle-parkAdopting a senior pet is one of the most wonderful things you can do – not only for them, but for you! Western society often doesn’t have a lot of respect for older things or beings. With our culture’s focus on how “important” it is to have the latest car, computer, or gadget, sometimes we forget the wonderful wisdom that age can bring. As the caretaker of several senior dogs (my own and fosters) and two senior cats, and having fostered five senior pets within the last year, I am completely convinced that if more people knew how amazing it is to rescue, foster and share their life with a senior pet, senior pets wouldn’t be so passed over in our shelters. It is true they likely won’t be with you as long as a younger pet. But if you can embrace the unselfish philosophy of quality over quantity of years, you’ll be rescuing many, many more lives in your lifetime — and that is truly a beautiful thing! Plus…

So often seniors in shelters are there through no fault of their own. Sometimes their owners, also elderly, must move to a care facility that doesn’t accept pets. Or they had owners who did not had the foresight or finances to get pet health insurance, and find they could no longer afford to care for a pet that needs age-related medical procedures or medication.  Sadly, in some cases the owners superficially wanted a newer, younger pet – and discarded the older one like a well-used couch on the side of the road.  Tragic, but true.

Senior pets in shelters, more often than their young counterparts, are already trained, housebroken, and calmer. They often arrive in your home and are so well-behaved it feels a bit like they did spend their whole life with you. Seniors have just as much love to give as any pet!

There are many advantages to adopting mature animals. You already know what they are going to look like and what size they will be, and you will know their personalities sooner, rather than waiting through those sometimes very trying learning stages — senior pets are much less likely to chew your favorite pair of shoes or shred your couch or curtains!

You can find a senior pet to adopt at Adopt-a-Pet.com by clicking “Search Dogs“, “Search Cats” or “Search Other“. Then enter in your zip code, and select “senior” from the age menu.  If you can’t adopt that sweetheart yourself, click the orange “share” button to share a link to that pet’s information to your Facebook friends or Twitter followers, or simply email a link to all your contacts who might want to adopt or foster.  Let’s get those beautiful seniors out of the shelter and into the loving homes they so richly deserve!