Pets at the shelter 3 plus years.
Pets at the shelter 1-2 years
Pets at the shelter 6 -12 months
Pets at the shelter 2-3 years
Adopting an Older Pet
Some of the most common concerns about not wanting to adopt a senior pet are:
*They won't live as long and I don't want to go through the emotional turmoil so soon.
Maybe. Many of us have lost young pets to illness or accident. There is no guarantee that a young pet will be with you for years either. But each pet that comes into your life can make happy memories for several years, and that's a long time. If it's a very senior pet, than you can be left with the wonderful memory that the last part of their life you were responsible for making them feel loved and secure.
*They won't bond with the family.
This has simply not proved to be true. They do bond with the family, equally as strongly as a younger pet. Most senior pets seem to realize what a gift they've been given and are truly grateful for it.
*Their history is unknown.
The vast majority of pets that come to the shelter, even younger ones, have an unknown history. Often a senior pet comes into the shelter because their owner has died or become unable to care for them. Many times they've lost a lifetime companion and are confused by what's happened to their lives and finding themselves in a shelter environment stresses them out more than a younger one. You cannot always judge their true personality in a shelter environment.
*They may have age related health issues.
True, but many don't, and these are issues that you will have to face at some point in time with any pet. Many of the treatments for the health related issues are not expensive and can maintain a good quality of life for a very long time.
The benefits to adopting an older pet are many:
*You are not committing to 10 plus years. This can be appealing to the middle-aged baby boomer group, and the older adopter who is thinking about retirement and traveling. Some senior folks want a dog but are afraid that the dog will outlive them and then worries about what would happen to the dog. The senior dog can be the perfect answer.
*They are calmer and not as wild as their younger counterparts. This may be appealing especially if you are a first time pet owner.
* They are appreciative. The older pets seem to know what they've been given and are grateful for it.
* Providing a home to an older pet which are typically overlooked, especially in a shelter environment, gives you such a rewarding feeling and one returned by your new pet.
Please take a moment to view our Long Term Residents at Homeward Bound Animal Shelter which are dogs who have been at the shelter longer than 6 months and the cats longer than 1 year. We do our best to provide the best care for all of our animals, however, the shelter is no substitute for a loving home. Please consider one of these pets as they have been waiting a very long time to find their forever families. Just a little patience, understanding and in some cases training is all they need to be that perfect addition you are looking for.
See the bottom of the page about adopting older pets.
Senior to Senior Program
Pets are a lifesaving companion for many who live alone especially for seniors. Our Senior to Senior program aims to make it easier for people 61 years and older to adopt a cat. The program waives the adoption fee if they adopt a cat older than 5 years old or has been at the shelter one year or more. In addition, they will receive a free litter box, scooper, small bag of litter and food. If you're a senior or know someone who is and thinking about adopting a cat, come and see if one of our qualifying cats will be a perfect companion.