Tyler shelters promote adoption of older animals during ‘Adopt a Senior Pet’ month

Tyler shelters promote adoption of older animals during ‘Adopt a Senior Pet’ month
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 4:15 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2023 at 10:16 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - They are cute, playful and energetic, but adopting a puppy or kitten is not the best choice for everyone. Plenty of senior pets also need good homes. And during this national “Adopt a Senior Pet” month, animal shelters are raising awareness about how senior pets are often overlooked and can often be a better fit for some people.

Since senior pets are often the last to be adopted, this puts them at a higher risk of being euthanized. According to the ASPCA, nationally, about 56 percent of senior dogs aged 7 years or older who end up in shelters are euthanized.

In East Texas, there are no-kill shelters who are willing to take in and care for those older pets, but even there, those younger pets are often chosen over them during the time of adoption.

“Well, I just think that people are so afraid of getting attached to a pet and then losing it and I think it plays a big part in it, but think of what you’re doing if you can rescue, save a senior and give them some wonderful last years of their life,” said Pets Fur People Director Gayle Helms.

Currently, Pets Fur People has five senior dogs. One of them is 11-year-old Yogi, who has been in and out of the shelter for several years.

Helms said there are benefits to owning a senior, like needing less care and supervision, and having fewer related costs, saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars on training, and “they’ve usually already been spayed or neutered and had their vaccinations. They’ve already usually been in the household. So they’re usually more laid back, they’re more loving.”

And when it comes to senior pets being more laid back, that includes less separation anxiety, which can cause younger pets to chew things when you’re gone.

The SPCA can attest to senior pets being loving and laid back. There are eight senior dogs there, the majority of them fostered. And two seniors just came in Tuesday morning; 12-year-olds Katie and Kylie.

“I wish that everybody could just see that these animals, they have feelings just like we do. They have a heart just like we do and you know they love you to death.” said SCPA Director of Operations, Kat Cortelyou.

“To me it’s sort of like a senior human being. I mean we don’t throw them away when they get old and we shouldn’t throw away the senior pets when they get old. I mean, they deserve to live a long and healthy life, and we owe it to them,” said Helms.

As future pet owners turn to animal adoption, it’s easy for most to overlook older pets in favor of younger ones.