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American Humane Celebrates Adopt A Senior Pet Month

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, November 9, 2020American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, celebrates Adopt A Senior Pet Month each November – a month dedicated to helping older pets find forever, loving homes.

Senior animals spend the longest time at shelters and rescues, and tragically, animals past the age of six or seven are often deemed unadoptable solely because of their age. Both dogs and cats of advanced age have higher euthanasia rates than their younger counterparts since they struggle to find homes. They can often live out the rest of their lives in the shelter, homeless and alone.

“Most people walk into a shelter hoping to find the cutest puppy or kitten to bring home, and overlook the older dogs and cats who have so much love to give,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, CEO and president of American Humane. “So this Adopt a Senior Pet Month, we encourage everyone who is looking to add a new furry friend to their family to stop and say hello to some of the older dogs and cats at the shelter and see if they might be just the right pet to take home.”

Many senior animals that end up in shelters were cherished companions of elderly people who died or had to move to an assisted living facility that would not allow pets. Similarly, economic hardships may force a family to relinquish a beloved pet. Other times, momentous changes such as a new baby, divorce or move can lead to surrender of a much-loved adult pet. A few older canines are former show dogs who were deemed no longer useful and brought to the shelter to be euthanized. In cases of neglect, senior animals end up at the shelter once animal control steps in and rescues them from bad, harmful situations. No matter the reason, many senior dogs and cats at shelters are affectionate, great companions and have just faced unfortunate circumstances.

American Humane outlines the reasons an older canine or feline friend may be a better choice than a young one:

  • They are typically calmer and less energetic, making them easier to handle. They also cause less trouble and are not teething or partaking in destructive behavior.
  • They are easier to train or, in some cases, are already fully trained.
  • They are less demanding and fit in well in many kinds of households, such as an apartment.
  • Their personality is already developed –temperament, behavior and appearance will not change over time.
  • They are less expensive.
  • They are even more loveable – older animals will appreciate their new family. They have been lacking in a secure home environment, and once they know they are safe, they will always love and trust their owner.

“Senior dogs who get adopted from shelters just might be the most grateful dogs on the planet,” said Laura Coffey, senior writer and editor for and author of, ‘My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts.’ “And don’t let their age fool you! It’s amazing to see how much these dogs still have to offer and teach us.”

This month, American Humane hopes everyone will join in celebrating Adopt A Senior Pet Month and find a new, loving best friend while also saving a life.

About American Humane

American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. To learn more, please visit us at and follow American Humane on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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