Old age is not a disease!

By Dorothée Pâris Pasturel • 10 August 2020

Guess which animals are the hardest to get adopted out, even if they are well behaved and healthy?

Older animals!

The animals we welcome at the shelter can be anywhere from a few weeks to twenty years old, but the oldest ones are definitely those who have the most difficulty finding a forever family.

Besides, at what age is an animal considered old? Well, the answer is very different for everyone, but we notice that animals over five years old are much less popular and stay longer at the shelter. However, many dogs can live from ten to fifteen years, and cats from fifteen to twenty years. Dozens of beautiful years of life are still ahead of them!

 It is time to debunk some preconceived ideas we have about older animals. 

  • They will never be able to adapt to a new environment. FALSE. Animals have an incredible capacity to adapt. Some may just need a bit more time.
  • I won’t be able to educate them my way. FALSE. Animals learn throughout their lives. Patience and good education techniques will be required.
  • They’re more likely to be sick. FALSE. Animals have just as much of a chance of getting sick at two months than they do at 10 years. In fact, puppies’ and kitten’s immune systems are much more fragile. An animal with a healthy lifestyle (good food, veterinarians visits, exercise) can live a very long time.

 In short, older animals, like any other animal, come with advantages! 

  • They are often already house-broken and trained.
  • Most of them will be calmer and require less supervision than a kitten climbing up the curtains or a puppy munching on shoes. There is no better companion to watch TV or take a nap with!
  • They are as big as they are going to get. No nasty surprises, such as a supposed Labrador puppy growing to the size of an adult Great Dane.
  • Their temperament is already established. It will be much easier for an adoption worker to recommend an animal that really suits your lifestyle when you choose an adult. Puppies’ and kittens’ characters will evolve enormously, and you can never know what to expect.
  • You really make a difference for these animals. While the kittens and puppies get snatched up, the older pets wait patiently. They will be really grateful to you for giving them this chance.

 In short, these animals are perfect for adopters: 

  • Who have little experience with animals
  • Who have little time to train them
  • Who want a shorter-term commitment
  • Who want to make a difference in an animal’s life

Even if old age generally frightens us all, it is a beautiful stage of life and should not be considered as an illness. As we say, to be old is only to have been young for longer than other people.


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