The Beauty in Adopting a Senior Pet

"When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul." - A.D. Williams

November is national Adopt a Senior Pet month. Pets fall into the "senior" category when they're over the age of seven. While adopting a senior pet can be a painful and scary thought, there is so much reward in giving them the love and care they deserve before they cross over to the rainbow bridge.

It's understandable why puppies and kittens get adopted quicker than senior pets. The thought of losing them is something that's a long time away. People are often afraid to adopt a senior pet because they're afraid of losing them. It's a justified fear, but sometimes we have to put our fear aside and help these animals. Some of them never having recieved the touch of a loving hand.

Losing a pet is quite possibly the worst pain in the world, but it’s selfish that senior pets are overlooked just because we're afraid of losing them. They want to live out their last years with someone who will love them, care for them, and give them endless tummy rubs. 

They shouldn't have to spend their last years in a shelter, in a small cage, possibly never having the change to know what true love is.

There are many benefits to adopting a senior pet. With their age comes years of knowledge. They're most likely already housebroken, trained, they aren't teething so your shoes are safe, and they're calm enough to give constant cuddles. That's not to say though that senior pets can't be playful because of course they can.  

During this month, most animal shelters are waiving or discounting adoption fees for senior pets. Giving these animals a chance to be loved is one of the most rewarding things you can do. You're giving an animal whose path was once that of dying in an animal shelter, a new fate. By adopting a senior pet, you're giving yourself satisfaction in knowing that for the last few years of your pet’s life, they were loved by you, and not left alone to die in a cage.

Senior pets give unconditional love, and in their last years, they deserve yours. Their faces may be white, but their hearts are pure gold. 

The photos featured in this article are from two animal welfare organizations: Catman2 Shelter, and Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary. Catman2 is a non-profit, no-kill, cats-only, and cage-free shelter. They are the only shelter in the Western North Carolina area that operates out of its own facility and does not rely on foster networks. The cats have their own house that's owned by Harold Sims, the Catman. The cats roam the home, with some having their own room to share with cats just like them. Some of the cats in the home are permanent residences. They're cats that aren't adoptable for their own individual reasons, but they will never know the feeling of not having a home.

Catman2 takes in cats from a local kill-shelter. Most of the cats they take are seniors, or cats that don't have a high chance of being adopted. Thanks to Catman2, these cats will know the feeling love even if their days are short. 

Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary's mission is to "provide a loving home, good food, high quality vet care, compassion and comfort to senior dogs for the remainder of their lives," as well as "work with other dog rescue groups to promote the adoption of senior dogs." Senior dogs of all kinds fill this shelter, and they're nothing short of cute. They have a strong Facebook following with everyone having their favorite among the dogs. A fan favorite is Leo, a fluffy old boy who keeps everyone on his or her toes.

This organization promotes senior dogs, showing their audience that just because they're old doesn't mean they're any less worthy. 

Senior pets have a story. We may not know what that story is, but before they cross over, all senior pets deserve to be loved at least once in their lives. They deserve to have someone holding their paw as they head across the rainbow bridge. 

Celebrate Adopt a Senior Pet month by considering adopting a senior pet or by going out to your local animal shelter and giving the senior pets a little extra love. Saving one pet will not change the world, but for that one pet, the world will change forever.








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