Blogs and Stories

May 18, 2020
Christen Brautigan

Adopting Older Pets

Puppies and kittens are adorable. However, some of us have a special appreciation for the senior pets that come into the shelter. There are benefits to adopting older pets over puppies and kittens. Unbelievably, we have even seen owners who wish to surrender older pets to shelters and get a new and younger pet.

My view is that any animal brought into our home is part of the family until the end. Would these folks dump their child because they got older and bigger? (there may be times it runs through our heads because teenagers can be crazy, but we don’t LOL)? During my time at Flagler Humane Society I have seen people surrender pets up to 17-18 years old. Please look at your pets as your family and it is a forever thing to adopt an animal.

At Flagler Humane Society roughly 20% of the animals surrendered by owners are senior pets.

Recently my mom was entered into an assisted living facility that allowed her to take one of her cats. Thank goodness, because her cats meant everything to her. My mom had three senior cats. One of her caregivers said she wanted one, that she had fallen in love with. The third became part of my family.

Older pets are wonderful. They require less training, and most have manners that younger pets do not have. In my experience they just want love and to cuddle. And yes, old dogs and cats can still learn new tricks. They may have all the basic commands down and you can take them with you to outdoor café’s and not worry about them going crazy like puppies. The older fur babies are also very thankful you decided to open your heart and they pay that back 100 times over. They know how lucky they are. They are less destructive too, won’t rip up your favorite shoes or pillows from the couch.

We have a volunteer named Robbie, an 8 year old, who is so in love with the older dogs that he has vowed to adopt as many old dogs as his parents will allow. He adopted an old girl named Molly recently. We are very thankful to Robbie and those who come to adopt our older pets. Please remember we all deserve a home and to feel loved but adopting and owning an animal is a commitment for their entire lives and should be thought about carefully. There are so many benefits of pets as part of the family.