Roanoke, Va. (WFXR) — Thinking it might be time to add a furry family member to the mix? Don’t count out an older pet.
November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Senior animals tend to spend the longest amount of time at shelters or rescues before finding their forever homes, if they find one at all and sadly canines and felines of advanced age have higher euthanasia rates at kill shelters than their younger counterparts.
Marketing and Communications Manager for the Roanoke Valley SPCA, Julie Rickmond says there are advantages to adopting a senior pet and the more pets adopted the more they’re able to pull from the regional pound.
Sometimes when people think seniors, they don’t want to deal with maybe more medical expenses or things like that but there’s a lot of upside to adopting senior animals. That includes the fact that you don’t normally have to train them quite as much, like normally with a puppy you’re going to have to train the puppy to go potty outside and not in the house.Julie Rickmond, Marketing and Communications Manager – Roanoke Valley SPCA
Whitney Campbell can attest to Rickmond’s comments. Whitney visited the shelter a few months ago with a specific dog in mind, but when she walked through Roanoke SPCA’s doors she formed an instant bond with eight year- old Howard.
“He still plays like a puppy sometimes and he’s already trained. He’s housetrained, he walks on a leash great, he can sit, he plays fetch like all of that stuff… so that’s something I didn’t have to teach him and that he already knows so now we have more time to cuddle.”Whitney Campbell, Senior Pet Adopter
Whitney says Howard has been a great companion. He’s not destructive and is low maintenance. All of which overshadow fears associated with senior pet adoption.
“I think a lot of people are scared to adopt older dogs just because they don’t want to get attached and then them die, but it’s really sad to have an older animal have to live it’s last few years in the pound.”Whitney Campbell, Senior Pet Adopter
Roanoke Valley SPCA currently has a senior cat, Beautiful and several senior dogs, Dwayne, Violet, and Athena looking for forever homes. All of the animals have unique personalities and are much deserving of love.
“Just like with humans, we don’t discard humans once they get older, you know we care for them and so it’s the same with animals, they need that human bond, they need that human connection and we don’t want to discard them just because they get older.”Julie Rickmond, Marketing and Communications Manager – Roanoke Valley SPCA
When adopting an older pet, you know what you’re going to get: size, demeanor, personality, and reciprocal love.