November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month, and let's face it, no one is lining up at the shelters to adopt a 12-year-old dachshund mix. But these dogs, cats, ferrets, bunnies, guinea pigs, birds and mice are just as deserving as their younger versions. In fact, there is nothing more sad or pitiful than a pampered little senior whose owner has passed and family won't take in, finding that 10-plus year old pet bewildered, scared and grieving at the high kill animal shelters across the U.S.
Everyone can argue that black cats and black dogs are the least adoptable, or Chihuahuas, pit bulls or special needs, but reality is that it's the seniors. We have turned into a throwaway society when it comes to seniors. Like an old sweater you no longer wear, senior pets often times have a shelf life as well. But those of us who know the wonders of enjoying life with a senior pet are here to sing praises and rally the rest of the country behind this movement.
Young at Heart Senior Pet Adoptions believes that love has no age limit. Think about that for a second, as it sure doesn't. Remember your pet growing up and the bond you both had until the day they died? Nothing diminishes, seniors continue to love, and so should we. "Our mission is to save the lives of homeless senior dogs and cats from shelters where their age puts them first in line to be euthanized," Young at Heart's mission statement reads. The Palatine, Ill.-based adoption agency allows senior pets in their care to enjoy the golden years with dignity and love that they have earned.
For starters, when you meet a senior pet, what you see is what you get. You aren't adopting a supposed Chihuahua mix puppy only to get a 50-pound boxer mix in the end. Seniors have finished their growing. Their coats won't change either, and it's safe to say the personality is already formed as well. You are adopting the finished product, right there, no secrets, according to Healthy Pets.
Older pets are also fun to hang out with. Working individuals have long work hours, commutes and obligations after work, too. Coming home to a dog that has either sat in a crate 10 hours or was loose in the house and had a party with the garbage, mini blinds and laundry because they are bored isn't fun. Chances are that your new senior pet will nap and hang out until you get home. You can go for a quick walk, hang out on the sofa unwinding with a movie, have a ball game or curl up with a good book. Seniors love these activities.
Forget the old wives tale that you can't teach old dog new tricks. That's nonsense, as senior dogs want to please as well and also have the attention span to learn to shake, sit or down, that is if they don't always know those commands.
And your new senior cat probably won't have the desire to climb the living room curtains or claw the back of the sofa, either. Been there, done that. Their laid back personalities are so much more fun now. Senior pet cuddle buddies are the perfect medicine for a sick day. Try to keep them out of your bed while you nap the day away.
Petfinder is issuing a challenge for Adopt A Senior Pet Month. They are asking us all to help senior pets find their forever home by taking the pledge to let at least one person in November know why senior pets make such amazing family members. Senior pets are seasoned at love, says Petfinder, and that they are.