Thursday, November 6, 2014

An Old Friend is a Good Friend

Sadly, animals like five-year-old Jaspurr are considered past
their prime as young counterparts quickly find homes.
Jaspurr is five years old, and while his human counterparts (in cat years!) are often just starting a family or buying a first home, Jaspurr is considered by many to be well past his prime. He has been waiting patiently for almost three months for the right family to discover what a great cat he is. Sadly, despite the fact that many cats today will live to celebrate their 20th birthdays and beyond, and many dogs will live well into their teens, pets are often considered “too old” when they’re barely out of adolescence.

Sadly, older pets often languish longer at shelters while their bouncy young counterparts frequently “fly off the shelves,” besotting adopters with their cute kitten looks and playful puppy ways. But the reality is, these older friends are a shelter’s best kept secret — and we want to tell you why!
  1. What you see is what you get. Shelter staff can usually tell you a lot more about the older pets in their care, which means you can make sure you find the right match for your family. You also won’t be surprised by how big that puppy might get or by how much exercise he’ll need! 
  2. Older pets have manners. Unlike kittens and puppies, many grown-up pets have spent years living with a family and being socialized to life with humans. Some have already received obedience training or know a few simple commands!
  3. They’re not a 24-7 job. Mature pets don’t require the constant monitoring that puppies and kittens do, leaving you with more freedom to do your own thing. If you have young children, or just value your “me time,” this is definitely a bonus.
  4. No expensive carpet cleaning bills! Older pets are often already housetrained … it usually just takes a few days to help them learn the toileting regime in their new home. 
  5. You get to sleep. All night. Little kitties love to hunt pipe cleaners at night, and little puppies aren’t great at holding it ‘til morning... the only thing an older pet might wake you with is his contented snoring!
  6. Your shoes and drapes are safe. You won’t see your mature pet scaling your silk curtains or chewing on your Manolo Blahniks… most of these guys are past that. 
  7. You can teach an old dog (and cat) new tricks! Adult animals are quick learners and focus more easily than their junior friends. The OHS offers obedience training for adult dogs — ask us for details! 
  8. Couch potato? He won’t judge you… he’ll join in. In fact, your mature pet will enjoy having more lap-time while you’re snoozing in front of Netflix on a Friday night. And while mature pets still need play and exercise, they usually won’t demand endless walks around the block.
  9. You can make the commitment. Let’s face it. A lot can happen in 20 years, and sometimes, we just can’t responsibly commit to a pet with that lifespan. But maybe you have five or 10 years to give to a pet in need. You can still enjoy the tremendous benefits of pet companionship. The level of commitment is the same but not for as long.
  10. You can be a hero to a deserving dog or cat. The truth is, older pets are simply harder to place. You can take pride in knowing that you have given a pet a wonderful home by opening your home and heart to them. 
For the month of November, the OHS is celebrating mature pets. Open your home and heart to one of our older pets in need. Read more here:

Sharon Miko
Deputy Executive Director

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