Adopting older animals carries many benefits
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By Mickey Zeldes  March 21, 2014 12:00 am

A small miracle happened here last week. Mia was adopted. Now we have animals adopted here all the time – and each one is special in their own way. Mia’s adoption was extra special because she was an 11-year-old Australian Shepherd mix. That is considered a senior dog by any standard. It’s hard to place older animals or those with special medical or behavioral needs. So those adoptions are considered little miracles.

We had just sent out information about Mia to about 70 rescue groups and posted her story on our Facebook page with a request for everyone to share so as to cast as wide a net as possible in the hopes of catching the one right home for her. I wish I could say that it was due to all this effort that she found a home, but I believe it was because of the positive energy we were sending out into the universe on her behalf.

Was it really coincidence that on that particular day an older woman told her son she needed a dog and they began their search? They came into the shelter and asked specifically if we had any mature, calm dogs, and lo and behold, who was the dog of the day in the front office (we rotate the dogs we bring up front to give everyone a chance to be seen and have a break from their kennels), but Mia! The rest, as they say, is history, and our senior dog found her way into a new home.

Adopting an older animal has its benefits. Because the animal’s personality is pretty well set, you can tell if you are getting a lap cat or a more aloof companion. A barker or the strong, silent type. Someone who would enjoy the dog park or a couch potato. You don’t have to wonder how big they will grow or how long the fur will get. Older animals won’t climb up the curtains and will be housebroken. Most senior animals know and appreciate lap-time and take full advantage of whatever quiet bonding opportunities they can get. Quite unlike a young kitten or pup that’s always on the go and getting into trouble. How many dogs grow up thinking their name is “No, no, bad dog!”

We had another wonderful older cat that we needed to have a mircle happen to him. Bert is the sweetest cat and is really social – just say his name and he comes over for pets. He wouldn’t dream of wasting a perfectly good lap – if you are sitting anywhere within his “lap radar” he will find you and climb aboard. Although he is tolerant of other cats and kids, he has told us that he’s really not into dogs. At only 12 years old, Bert still has a lot of time and love to give. Bert was happily adopted this last Saturday and couldn’t be more pleased with his new forever home. 

 

Upcoming events

• Fix-it clinics: Free cat spays/neuters and low-cost dog surgeries for low-income residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati. Call 588-3531 for more information or an appointment.

 

• ‘No More Lost Pets’ campaign: Every lost pet should have a way to get back home. Free pet ID tags and a back-up microchips are available to all residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati. No appointment necessary, just come by the shelter during our regular open hours: Wednesday 1-6:30 p.m.; Thursday, Friday and Saturday 1-5:30 p.m.; and Sunday 1-4:30 p.m.

 

Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at mzeldes@rpcity.org.

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