Why older pets are sometimes perfect for older owners

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month

10 Reasons Rescue DogsMake theBest Pets .According to the ASPCA, approximately670,000 shelter dogs are euthanized each year. .Before you choose your new familyfriend, consider these 10 reasons whyrescue dogs make the best pets. .1. You can adopt an older dogthat is already trained. .2. Unlike pet stores, adoption isall about finding the right pairingbetween pet and owner.3. Shelters are a great source of informationand resources even after adoption.4. You have a broader selection of yourdog’s breed, age, sex and personality.5. Spaying and neutering is often providedby the shelter, free of charge. .6. Adoption is much less expensivethan pet stores or breeders.7. Adopting helps prevent overpopulationin shelters and in the overall population.8. Shelter dogs are less likely tohave unknown health problemsthan dogs from puppy mills. .9. Your adoption fees go towardsthe animal shelter, which is a great causethat deserves the support.10. Rescue dogsdeserve a secondchance to find aloving home

Every year, about 4.1 million shelter animals get adopted according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. While kittens and puppies tend to be adopted quickly, older animals tend to have a longer wait. But there are great reasons to consider adopting an older pet — especially for seniors.

One perk is that their personality has already developed.

“Knowing (a pet’s) personality is the biggest benefit when you’re looking at adopting,” Dr. Scott Kelley from Sixes Animal Hospital at Bridgemill told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s all about matching the right pet to the right person.”

Senior pets can also make pet ownership more accessible for older adults who want companionship without the hard work.

Pancake waiting to get taken home by her new cat mom.

Credit: Courtesy

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Credit: Courtesy

Senior pets are also “less likely to be destructive in the home, and they require less exercise.” Dr. Tyler Human from Tritt Animal Hospital told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Older adults owning senior pets provide many benefits, but before running out to adopt, it’s important to also consider the challenges too.

“Any pet that lives long enough will have something happen related to their health,” Kelley said. “Testing them and having blood work early can prepare you for future complications, but have them seen annually, potentially twice a year based on the advice of your veterinarian.”

To make access to senior pets easy for older adults, some shelters offer incentives. The Golden Companions Program at Good Mews waives the adoption fee for all senior humans who adopt a senior cat. They understand the benefits of bringing senior owners and pets together.

“With a senior cat, you can expect lots of snuggles, loving affection, and the perfect companion to binge-watch a TV series with. They don’t want to play as much, preferring a nice lap to snuggle up in every day,” Bri Payne, Director of Marketing at Good Mews said.

Fanny gives her owner, Cris Scopa, a loving look before cuddling up together on the couch.

Credit: Courtesy

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Credit: Courtesy

Pet owner Cris Scopa is a proud senior owner of a senior pet. She adopted Fanny, her mother’s dachshund, upon her mother’s passing last fall. Scopa happily picked up the role of dog mom to keep Fanny in the family.

“Fanny makes me happy and brings me joy. She takes the edge off loneliness, and adds activity into my life,” Scopa said.

Linda Reeves became a senior cat mom to Pancake through a Good Mews adoption. Reeves found Pancake online through the CATalog.

“Pancake filled the void, and I hope we have many years of companionship and love,” Reeves said.

Scopa would recommend a senior pet to any of her friends, citing one particularly special moment they share each day.

“Our bedtime ritual is a perfect example of how our rhythms coincide seamlessly. I tuck her in, give her a kiss, and Fanny gives me a lick or two in return. This peaceful moment puts both our minds at rest.”

To get specialized news and articles about aging in place, health information and more, sign up for our Aging in Atlanta newsletter.

If you’re looking for a pet, consider these local shelters:

Lifeline Animal Project


Locations throughout metro Atlanta

Good Mews Animal Foundation

3805 Robinson Road, Marietta, 770-499-2287


PAWS Atlanta

5287 Covington Highway, Decatur, 770-593-1155



5235 Union Hill Road, Cumming, 770-613-0880 (Cats)

1520 Union Hill Road, Alpharetta, 678-624-1003 (Dogs)


Atlanta Humane Society

1565 Mansell Road, Alpharetta, and 1551 Perry Boulevard NW, Atlanta