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  • Writer's pictureLeighAnnGerk

November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month!

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. A month devoted to helping older pets find a caring, forever home. The ASPCA and founded Adopt a Senior Pet Month to help bring awareness that senior pets are wonderful additions to your family.

Sadly, senior pets often spend the longest amount of time at rescues or shelters before finding their forever homes; if they even find one at all. Older cats and dogs have higher euthanasia rates than their younger friends and often live the rest of their lives in a shelter kennel waiting for that one special family to welcome them into their home.

There are numerous benefits of adopting a senior pet, but the gratitude alone for giving them the opportunity to live out the end of their life with you is truly reward enough. You are their hero. Listed below are more reasons why adopting a senior pet will not only change your life but also your heart:

· Senior pets have outgrown their rowdy “get into everything stage.“ Dogs are usually housebroken, and cats are litter box trained. Your shoes and couch will be safe from being chewed up and the high alert stress associated with a new puppy or kitten is not present.

· Bringing home a senior pet can be very mellow experience. They are so very grateful to you for sharing your home with them. They will gladly curl up beside you and rest at your side. There is a gentleness and calmness that is not present with a kitten or puppy.

· Upon meeting a senior pet, their temperament has usually been established. There is no guessing game as to if your new family member will be a good fit for your family and your lifestyle. You’ll know right away if you are getting a cuddler or a more independent natured pet. “What you see is what you get.”

· Many senior pets, depending on breed, lifestyle and existing health issues can still have plenty of healthy, happy years to spend with you.

· Although there may be more medical costs associated with an elderly pet, annual exams and preventative care can help. Elderly pets with health issues need your love more than ever.

· People are often under the assumption that if an older pet is at a rescue or shelter there is something wrong with them. As stated by Robin Ganzert, PhD, president and CEO of American Humane, “Far too often this happens to older pets through no fault of their own after their families encounter financial troubles, illnesses, or other upheavals in their lives.”

· Most importantly, you are saving a life. Often it is not only the pet’s life you are saving, but also your own. People often ask themselves “who saved who?”

There are many heartfelt stories about adopting a senior pet; every so often, these dear, old souls are put on our path and we know it was meant to be. Below is such a story, shared with permission, by Jonna “Sam” Allison:

Rarely does my home go without a canine family member. After the loss of my last dog I took a 2-month break. Couldn’t stand it. I love boxers, they’re sweet silly and awesome companions especially once they get past the crazy pup years! I looked at the Denver HOBO boxer rescue. Like my canines, I’m slowing a bit and working a lot. When I looked, and saw the sweet white face of two dogs in particular, I decided no senior should spend their time in a rescue setting. I went down to meet an old female boxer that was with a foster family. The foster family was late (not sure if they even showed up) and I sat in the back of my car waiting. Another foster family came by with this goofy white faced 10-year-old boxer with a bit of an under bite. I pet her as they went by and she turned around and jumped in the back of my car. Sat next to me and just looked out like I was, watching people stroll by. I asked if she was available and they said, “yes she is.” I asked her if she wanted to go home with me and she licked my face. So that’s how Midge ended up with me. The transition to my home was seamless. She’s mellow, tickled to see me when I get home and completely devoted. I think she’s grateful that I saved her. I will always adopt senior dogs from here on out. We’re completely compatible, she came with great manners and training. No senior pet should spend their last days/years anywhere other than a loving home.

Although November is dedicated to Adopt a Senior Pet, lets make every month of the year a time to adopt or rescue these deserving, loving and compassionate elderly pets. They are waiting, right now, to give and receive love…

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