November is National Adopt a Senior Month. All too often, senior pets are relinquished to the shelter once their age starts to catch up with them.
Seniors still have a lot of love to give and deserve to live out their remaining years in a loving home with a family of their own.
Many shelters and rescues offer “fospice” adoptions, where an elderly animal is placed in a foster/hospice home, and the organization provides medical care, while the fospice family provides a loving environment for the pet’s remaining life.
However, not all senior pets are on their last leg, so to speak. 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 still can reach the age of 16 with good health and proper care. Proper care means good nutrition, proper maintenance, including monthly flea and heartworm prevention, and yearly visits to the veterinarian.
The label senior does not mean old and decrepit. Most senior pets are actually just middle-aged and have lots of pep in their step to provide endless hours of companionship and joy.
Oftentimes, senior people will seek out the companionship of a pet, and a puppy or kitten may not be the best option due to the amount of care a young animal needs. Remember that a cute little puppy will quickly grow to be a large, strong dog.
So seniors adopting a new pet should consider a senior pet. They are long past the puppy stage of chewing and barking and likely will have an energy level that is manageable for an older person.
The health benefits of owning a pet are numerous. A person who has a dog is more likely to walk regularly, which is good for both of them. Pets also provide companionship, and this is especially beneficial to older people who may live alone. It’s a win-win situation.
Please consider adopting a senior pet. They did not live their wholes lives loving a family only to end up alone in a shelter. In honor of National Adopt a Senior Month, the Louisiana SPCA will offer a reduced adoption fee of $11 for all pets 8 years and older. Visit www.la-spca.org/adoptables for more information. Regular adoption procedures apply.
Thursday: Yappy Hour in the Courtyard benefits the Louisiana SPCA. It’s held at Rare Form, 437 Esplanade Ave. at Frenchmen St., from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday. Stop in for dinner or just enjoy craft cocktails and listen to relaxing live music with your friendly four-legged friend. Fresh water and treats will be provided for pups, while owners enjoy $1 off all craft cocktails. Don’t forget, when you mention “Yappy Hour,” 15 percent of the proceeds from your outing go to benefit the Louisiana SPCA. Visit www.rareform nola.com for more information.
Saturday: Jefferson SPCA will have adoptable pets at Jefferson Feed, 4421 Jefferson Highway, Jefferson, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday: The 37th annual Howling Success Patron Party & Gala benefits the Louisiana SPCA. The Hyatt Regency’s Celestin Ballroom will be transformed for groovy evening with a ’70s theme!
Howling Success is a unique fundraiser and our largest tribute to the more than 33,000 animals that come through our doors every year. Support of Howling Success allows the SPCA to continue positively affecting families and their furry, feathered and hoofed loved ones throughout the region. Visit www.la-spca.org/howling success for more information.
Lost or found pets: In Orleans Parish, send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact info to email@example.com, in Jefferson Parish send to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and in St. Bernard Parish send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at email@example.com, www.animalrescueneworleans.org or call our recorded information line at (504) 571-1900.