Senior dogs are often overlooked in shelter and rescue situations for one reason – they are old. With age can come issues with mobility, hearing, sight and other common concerns. But dogs in or approaching their golden years must not be dismissed. Turns out, there are several amazing reasons to adopt a senior dog. The benefits far outweigh any minor health issues they may have, and when you earn the love of a senior dog, you’ll understand how truly special they are.
You got a new dog from a breeder. You are posting photos all over Facebook. That’s nice – I’m not happy for you.
If you’re happy, cool. You are having a kid? I don’t like kids but I’ll be happy for you! Moving to New Jersey? That sounds terrible but I’ll be happy for you! But you bought a new dog from a breeder, and I just refuse to get behind it. I cannot possibly bring myself to be happy that you bought a dog from a breeder. I just can’t.
Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA (AAWL) is Arizona’s largest and oldest no-kill shelter. Located in Phoenix, the shelter’s mission is one that all of us can appreciate: to create a world where there are no homeless dogs and cats. Recently I had the opportunity to tour the facility, play with kittens and fall in love with a Husky. Did I mention I got to play with kittens?!
It was an ordinary Monday in 2012. After a long, tiring day, I walked into my local PetSmart dressed in my banker garb. I needed to pick up a few things for my cats, so I wandered over to the food aisle. “Maybe I’ll just peek at the cats up for adoption,” I thought to myself as I mingled over to the glass windows where cats were waiting for their forever families. And then I saw him. Curled up against the glass, there he was. “Cheetoh – 2 year old neutered male. Has been in foster care for a year after a good Samaritan picked up up off the street when he was being chased by a large dog. Shy at first but once he warms up, he loves to get cuddles and he likes to show you exactly where he wants to be petted.” As I stared longingly at this gorgeous, orange tabby, I noticed something different. His paws. His paws were…deformed. He had the sweetest face but he had a disability. My heart broke. I immediately thought to myself, “No one wants him because he’s different. If he’s still here in a week, I’m going to adopt him.” Cheetoh, now Joey, turns six in June 🙂
The “pound” is a depressing place. I cry every time I go. And that’s no joke. Seeing terrified, sick animals behind chain link doors never gets easier to deal with. Especially seeing senior dogs look up at you as you walk by…ugh. You can’t help but wonder if they are going to spend their last days on earth alone in a kennel. But these are all of the reasons I go to Maricopa County Animal Care & Control. If someone doesn’t help and speak for these animals, who will?