No One Wants Me—I’m 9

Rover’s Kid

November was Adopt a Senior Pet Month, which served as a gentle reminder that older dogs are relinquished to shelters and rescues at a time in their lives when they need us the most! Last month, Maricopa County Animal Care & Control took in more than 30 dogs a day! Unfortunately, older dogs are the last to find homes but the first to be euthanized.

The number-one reason prospective adopters tend to steer clear of older dogs is because of misunderstanding, lack of knowledge, and/or folklore about older dogs. Example: “Old dogs are going to get sick and cost a lot of money in vet bills.” Oh, national statistics on this folklore show just the opposite. Puppies and younger dogs growing into adulthood need far more vet care than dogs that have already reached adulthood.

At Rover’s Rest Stop’s Meet & Greet events in Sun Lakes, the usual dialogue of attendees: “I want a small, fluffy, young dog to keep me company and snuggle and watch television.” What’s wrong with this request?

Young, small, fluffy dogs:

• Do not stay in one place long enough to watch television.

• Still have accidents in the house.

• Need to walk briskly twice a day and play and romp daily in the backyard.

• Are very, very fast walkers, so you need to be able to keep up.

• Still need weekly training and socializing.

• Are still in the destructive stage. They love your slippers.

Enter “The Older Dog”

1. Senior dogs have manners. Unlike puppies, adult dogs have spent years living with a family and being socialized to live with humans.

2. Senior pets respect your belongings. Older pets are generally years beyond the destructive puppy phase. No need to worry about hiding your favorite pair of shoes or slippers.

3. What you see is what you get. A senior pet holds no surprises as to how big he might get, what color his adult coat will be, or whether his hips will be healthy. A senior comes with his own health history, which makes his future much more predictable than that of a puppy.

4. Older dogs can learn new tricks. Adult dogs focus on the task at hand. If your adopted older pet needs to learn a few things in her new life with you, not to worry.

5. Senior pets and senior citizens make a great team. Many older folks find the calm presence of an older pet very comforting. They appreciate having a companion who is also getting up there in age, doesn’t mind hearing the same stories again and again, and is happy to move through life at a slower speed.

Are you planning to add a new pet to the family? Please consider the many wonderful rewards of adopting a senior pet. You could be a hero to a deserving older pet this holiday season!

Join us on Jan. 13 and meet wonderful, active, older Kids!