Adopt a Senior Pet Month
By Shireen Haynes
November is “Adopt a Senior Pet Month” and we couldn’t be more excited about it! Our goal is to decrease the stigma attached to adopting a senior animal and let as many people as we can in on a little secret – senior animals make the very best pets.
Senior animals often end up at shelters, like Rochester Animal Services, through no fault of their own. Many animals find themselves at a shelter due to their owner’s health status or a change in residence (eg. moving in with a family member, assisted living or nursing home). Seniors often end up waiting the longest for adoption or foster homes. Everyone wants puppies and kittens without realizing how much time will need to be spent molding that puppy or kitten into the perfect pet. When you adopt a senior, you are getting an animal whose personality is already developed. Seniors usually tend to be calmer and better behaved than younger animals. They have lower energy levels and don’t need to spend every minute playing. They are usually quite content just being near their owners.
Another myth associated with senior animals is that they are more expensive to maintain. This is not necessarily true in that there have been numerous advancements in the areas of veterinary care and pet nutrition. Pets, just like people, are living longer and healthier lives. A good diet balanced with regular exercise will benefit your pet just as diet and exercise benefit us.
Of course, the worst thing about pet ownership is to have to say that final goodbye. Regardless of any age, it is a hard thing to do. Focus on the quality of the time spent together rather than the quantity of time. There is no love like that of a senior pet. And there truly is no love like a rescued senior pet. Until you have a senior pet, you will never know what you are missing out on.