Local pet rescue says older pets are the perfect match for some people
Older dogs and cats aren’t as full of energy or as driven by curiosity to explore everything around them, and that’s why Hearts and Tails of Hope Pet Rescue says they’re the perfect match for some adopters who are looking for easy-going furry companions.
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and HToH spokesperson Marilyn Jones says that while puppies and kittens get all the attention, the reasons you might prefer to take home a dog or cat who’s more mature are numerous.
“They’re already used to people; they’re easy to deal with and honestly, I think they just appreciate everything,” Marilyn says. “They’re just a good companion.”
Senior dogs and cats are generally five to seven years old or older and well past their growing up stages. They’ve seen enough of life to know how the world works, and so their main goal is “they just want to be loved” says Marilyn.
Marilyn says older dogs are past the chewing phase when young dogs seem to see the world as one big chew toy, and they’re not as rambunctious and full of energy, which works out well for adopters who don’t have large yards or don’t often take walks.
“A lot of times when people get puppies, they have no idea what it’s going to entail. When you have a senior, they’re normally potty trained; they don’t chew, they’re just easy to take care of,” Marilyn says.
Older cats feel less of a need to roam and mostly enjoy sleeping, which means they’re well matched for someone who’s looking for a laptop companion to sit back and enjoy a good movie with.
Marilyn also points out that senior pets are sometimes preferred by older adults because they’re simply not able to keep up with the needs of a fully energetic, vivacious puppy or kitten but they still want the companionship that only a furry friend can provide.
“Cats, I know, are especially good at lowering blood pressure,” Marilyn says, adding that the companionship a pet offers is beneficial to homebound older adults, especially if they are alone.
Although Marilyn says she can offer some pretty enticing facts about senior pets that can convince any adopter that an older dog or cat is awesome, she says for her, it’s not all about what the animal can do for the human — it’s also a matter of people reaching out with compassion and empathy to a living creature who is seriously in need of some love.
“I want to look take it from the the compassionate side: this is a wonderful animal that still has some good life in it. It needs to have a calm, safe place to live and just needs a companion,” Marilyn says.
About Hearts and Tails of Hope
Adopting out more than 500 dogs and cats each year, Hearts and Tails of Hope Pet Rescue has plenty of senior pets in need of a home — and kittens and puppies too. The local animal welfare non-profit was formed by local, veteran animal advocates and rescues dogs and cats from throughout the county, making them ready for a new, permanent home.
The process can take several months from rescue to adoption as fosters spend time with each dog and cat, learn their temperment, get their shots up-to-date, discover their specific traits and create a portfolio for each pet so they can match them up with just the right human companion.
After the fostering process, the dogs and cats that are ready for adoption are then taken to a variety of adoption events the organization hosts, not only in Ellis County but throughout North and Central Texas.
The work of the volunteers is a response to the massive pet overpopulation problem in the county and throughout most of the region that lands countless dogs and cats on the streets or abandoned outside the city limits, neglected, starving and on course to either die alone or be killed in one of the local municipal animal shelters that are far too overcrowded to try to implement any meaningful adoption program.
Adopt, don’t shop!
Facing such a monumental task, the organization urges local residents to adopt a kitten, a puppy, a senior pet –whatever — just don’t buy from a breeder, she says. Breeders intentionally increase the number of puppies and kittens for profit and only add more animals to the overpopulation problem, filling up homes that could have otherwise taken in a dog or cat who’s already in this world and in desperate need of a home.
“Adopt — don’t shop,” Marilyn says. “That’s the best thing you could possibly do.”
You can view all the dogs and cats Hearts and Tails of Hope Pet Rescue has available for adoption and find out more about the events the organization hosts at https://www.txtailsofhope.org/