By Al Winzerling
La Plata County Humane Society
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. From a satisfaction standpoint, many who have adopted a senior pet say they would never go back to adopting a young whippersnapper again. Senior animals are certainly grateful adoptees. You will be their hero!
As with everything, there are pros and cons to consider:
If you are also a senior, senior animals have less energy and generally are easier to handle. Instead of a 40-minute, high-energy walk, all they may need is 15 minutes and they are ready to turn around to go home and have a nap. While this article is mostly about canines, it also applies in many ways to felines. My 10-year-old cat that has outside privileges stays closer to home and gets in less trouble than when she was younger. Most older animals sense and appreciate being adopted, recognizing they are not as cute as they used to be. But then, who is? For the senior adopter, it may be a perfect fit. The kids are gone, the family circle is small or nonexistent, and an animal requires your care, attention and love. A daily walk for canines, even short ones, are or should be expected. It will get you out of the house and maybe even afford you an opportunity to meet some of your neighbors. Senior pets are often house-trained, fully grown, their personalities established and grooming requirements easily assessed. Adopting an older animal means having them around for a shorter period of time. Losing a pet that has become part of your family is never easy. Older pets may, but not always, require more medical attention as they age, just like us humans. So, veterinary costs could be a factor. Older animals may tie their owners down. It is much harder to leave an older animal in a kennel or with a house sitter when they may require special care or medications on a frequent basis. Lastly, adoption fees are reduced for senior pets. The adoption fees for a senior animal are $49 for dogs and $29 for cats. This is half the usual fee. If you are a senior yourself, take advantage of the Seniors-4-Senior Program and you’ll receive 50% off the already reduced adoption fee. When adopting a new pet regardless of their age, patience and understanding is required. LPC Humane Society has a large selection of senior animals eligible for adoption and ready to fit any forever household. As always, your local Humane Society is here to serve all the animals and members of our community.
Al Winzerling is a La Plata County Humane Society board member.