November is Adopt a Senior Pet month. Shelters and rescues are full of middle aged and older dogs and cats, yet most people prefer that adorable puppy or kitten.
Senior pets (age 7 years and older) deserve a good home to live out their lives. Some of these pets can live to be 12-15 years old or older. There are many reasons that these pets end up in shelters and rescues, and it's at no fault of their own. Maybe the previous owners acquired them as cute youngsters and then couldn't handle them or didn't want them once they became full grown. It could be a family that had to relocate and was forced to give up their pet. It could be that the pet was kicked out of the home and left to fend for itself on the streets. Maybe the pet belonged to an elderly person who had to go into a facility that didn't allow pets.
Through a variety of situations, these pets end up sitting in shelters, wondering why they are there, wondering what they did wrong to be taken from their family and stuck in a cage. To get their hopes up when someone visits, only to have them move on to the cute baby down the row.
People worry about adopting someone else's behavior problem or sick pet. Shelters and rescues work with behavior problem pets, and are usually honest and up front about the pet's current situation. The same goes for pets with an illness, especially in rescues. However, that being said, there are a lot of perfectly healthy, well-behaved older pets who only want a forever home with love. No, these pets may not be around as long as the puppy or kitten you may be considering. Yes, they may become sick with what will be a life-long condition requiring continuous medical management. But you can still do a great thing for these pets by offering them their last home, their forever home, full of love.
This quote applies to any animal:
"Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever." -Karen Davison
Suburban Animal Clinic is located in