Wednesday, Nov.1, marks the beginning of National Adopt a Senior Month. All too often, pets are surrendered to shelters once their age starts to show. Seniors still have a lot of love to give and deserve to live out their remaining years in a loving home.

Many shelters and rescues in the area offer “fospice” adoptions, where an elderly animal is placed in a foster/hospice home. The organization provides medical care, while the fospice family provides a loving environment for the rest of the pet’s life.

Do not let a gray muzzle fool you. Most senior pets are actually just middle aged and have lots of pep in their step to provide endless hours of companionship and joy.

Dogs and cats are often considered seniors when they reach 7 to 9 years of age, and small breeds can live for 16 to 20 years. Larger dogs have a shorter lifespan, but some live well into their teens with good health and proper care.

Proper care includes good nutrition, proper maintenance, including monthly flea and heartworm prevention, and yearly visits to the veterinarian.

Often times, senior people will seek out the companionship of a pet, but puppies or kittens may not be the best option. They require a lot of patience and management. Senior pets will likely have an energy level that is manageable for an older person.

The health benefits of owning a pet are numerous. A dog owner is more likely to get outdoors and walk regularly to exercise that animal. Pets also provide companionship, and this is especially beneficial to someone who may live alone. 

Consider adopting a senior pet. Every shelter and rescue has seniors in need of homes. Through November, the Louisiana SPCA is reducing the adoption fee for cats and dogs ages 6 and older to $11 during its “Aged to Pawfection” promotion. The reduced adoption fee includes vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, microchip, pet food and a free trial of pet insurance.

Events

THURSDAY: From 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., enjoy a cocktail during Yappy Hour at Café Adelaide inside the Loews Hotel. Not only will a percentage of the proceeds be donated to the animals at the Louisiana SPCA, but you’ll also have a chance to play with adoptable pups. Visit la-spca.org to learn more.

SATURDAY: Animal Rescue New Orleans' Day of the Dogs & Kitties Open House will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 271 Plauche St. in Harahan. Refreshments will include Caluda's Halloween king cakes. Pup Parade, an informative talk on fostering and volunteering, is included, and there's a 3 p.m. raffle drawing. ARNO T-shirts and candles on sale. For information, visit adopt@animalrescueneworleans.org.

SATURDAY: At 9 a.m., lift, tone and burn next to adoptable animals at a Pure Barre pop-up class at the Louisiana SPCA. $10 donation is required; all proceeds go to the Louisiana SPCA. Space is limited; sign up online at Bit.ly/LASPCApopup. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

SATURDAY: From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there's a Jefferson SPCA adoption event at Harley-Davidson, 6015 Airline Drive, Metairie. Meet adoptable dogs from the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter.

SATURDAY: Friends of the Jefferson Shelter is having a feline-only adoption event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Jefferson Feed, 4421 Jefferson Highway. Kittens, teenage and adult cats will be there, with foster parents and adoption counselors on hand. For information, visit fjas.petfinder.com.

SATURDAY: RedRover Responders Volunteer Training provides volunteers who are an emergency safety net for animals when and where they need it most. The RedRover Responders offer lifesaving care and shelter for animal victims of natural disasters, puppy mills, hoarding and other cases of cruelty and neglect. They welcome volunteers at all levels of experience, from a casual pet-lover to an experienced rescuer or animal care professional. This four-hour workshop, facilitated by an experienced RedRover Responders volunteer, helps you understand what it’s like to help. To register for the workshop, or find out more about RedRover’s programs, visit my.redrover.org/new-orleans/events/2017-new-orleans-redrover-responders-workshop/e146019.

LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact info to lostandfound@la-spca.org. In Jefferson Parish, send to molsen@jeffparish.net and bbourgeois@jeffparish.net; in St. Bernard Parish, send to cluna@sbpg.net.

Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at animalrescuecolumn@gmail.com or visit www.animalrescueneworleans.org.