The cooler weather seems to have slowed the intake of cats to the shelter with ‘only’ 200 cats and kittens coming into our care last month for a total of 300 animals. 19 of them were senior pets which is especially heartbreaking to see. The older animals have a much harder time adjusting to the shelter environment and are more often suffering from neglect. Nearly 15% of dogs and cats coming into our care each year are over seven years of age (seniors).
All of the animals are special to us but the seniors always get a little extra attention from the staff and volunteers. They like to spend more time on the dog walks and brushing the cats. Only the more comfortable blankets are used and a little extra attention is given to their food prep. I often find the best soft treats stashed in the food pantry for the older pets. They tug at the heartstrings a little harder than the others.
More often than not, the senior animals come into our care with unaddressed medical concerns. The ones surrendered to us tend to be in better shape than the strays. More often than not the owners are giving up the pet because they have tried and can no longer afford the cost of veterinary care.
It typically costs us between $190 and $275 in veterinary expenses alone to get a dog ready for adoption. Senior dogs on average cost $375 more. Dental disease and X-rays are the most common reasons for offsite vet visits. Joint supplements, pain medication and prescription diets also contribute to the added expense. Their needs are unique and we do what needs to be done to ensure a positive outcome for them.
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month and to highlight the senior pets we are reducing all of their adoption fees to $7. It is a myth that what someone pays to acquire a pet is an indicator of the level of care the pet will be provided. It is the extra time our staff takes for all pets when performing adoption counseling that ensures the animals will be as loved in their new homes as they are here at the RHSPCA.
Help us find the perfect retirement homes for the seniors in our care by sharing our upcoming promotion.