Some reasons why older animals lose their homes are:
death of a guardian
not enough time for the cat or dog
change in work schedule
need to move to a place where pets are not allowed
kids going off to college
change in "lifestyle"
Most cases are not a direct cause of the animal but usually due to circumstances of the person or family.
What advantages do older cats and dogs have vs. younger cats and dogs?
Older pets generally have had some training, either in obedience or house manners. Due to the confusion and upset of being in a temporary fostering environment, sometimes they may “forget” this, and a refresher course might be needed.
Older cats and dogs have learned what "no" means and how to behave in a home.
They have been "socialized" and know what it takes to be part of the home and to get along with family members and other pets.
Older animals generally have a lower energy level than puppies and kittens and are ideal for working families and seniors.
Finally, a potential adopter is able to assess the size and temperament of the older cat or dog as there is no guessing on how big they will grow or what their personality will be!
Don’t older animals cost more in vet bills?
When adopting a pet, whether it be a puppy, a young cat or senior, there will always be medical expenses. There are no guarantees that when you adopt a younger animal the vet bills will be lower, and being realistic about this will help you plan accordingly. Good nutrition, exercise and preventive care are all important factors in keeping your pet healthy.
Grief…how do I handle it?
Grief is a very personal matter. Some people feel that giving a home to an older cat or dog is a tribute to their former pet and actually eases their pain. Saving an animal from euthanasia through adoption enables people to focus on the positives and to deal better with loss. Consider also that there are never any guarantees about length of life with any cat or dog. Quality of time together can matter a great deal more than quantity.
“You can’t teach old dogs new tricks”.
Patience, patience, patience! Dogs (and cats) can be trained at any age. There are training classes that you can sign up for to help you with this transition. However, most older animals have had some training in one way or another…so they may only need a refresher course.
How long will it take for an older cat or dog to settle into a routine with me?
Each animal is an individual and comes with a unique set of experiences and varying circumstances, so it is hard to predict how much time is required to make an adjustment. With care, patience, and a kind, understanding, loving attitude, just about any cat or dog will come around.
Lastly, what kind of support can an adopter expect from NARF?
We will guide you carefully through any adjustment period that may be needed, and provide resources as we are able.