All too often, senior cats and dogs are left to languish in shelters. These animals often make some of the best pets because they are mature and calm. After losing our senior dog, Lilah to degenerative myelopathy at the end of 2020, I couldn’t shake my thoughts from the statistics that show many senior animals are surrendered to shelters at the end of their lives. I felt lucky to have been able to give Lilah the care and stability to peacefully transition at home in our arms.
The confusion and stress a senior animal feels when thrust into an unfamiliar shelter situation is quite high. These situations are often emotionally intense for the shelter staff that try their best to give these animals the best quality of care at the end of their lives.
No matter how good the facility and the staff are, nothing takes the place of a home.
Flare’s story caught my eye on MidHudson Animal Aid’s website. She was surrendered to the shelter at age 16 by a family who was moving and could not take her with them. She spent a year and a half at the shelter and had some interest from other families who were ultimately scared away by her medication schedule. She didn’t get along with the other cats at the shelter so she lived in the office 24 hours a day which gave her a lot of interaction with the staff but not a home of her own.
My husband and I decided to foster Flare for a month to make sure our home was the right one for her. I think we knew immediately when she came through that door, she was never leaving again.
We’ve made the adoption official and Flare is now Isadora – or Izzy for short. She just celebrated her 18th birthday with us on March 15th with some extra special treats and her standard 18 hours of sleep!
If you are considering adopting or fostering in the future, please consider a senior pet as the next addition to your family. Isadora has brought so much love and joy to our home and there are many other senior pets out there waiting to share their personalities with just the right family.
If you are caring for an older pet and the costs become prohibitive, you can find assistance through The Senior Dogs Project: https://srdogs.com/more-on-health-care-tips/financial-assistance-pet-guardians/