Older pets require the same sense of belonging and need for love that all living things do. They're social animals and want to feel connected in some way. The older pets that come to shelters and rescues have either been dumped & doomed to wait until euthanized, or they've found themselves without home or family because their human companions couldn't or didn't want to keep them. Life as they knew it has forever changed, and they're adrift in a world that often has no room for them.
Many potential adopters assume that when they go to a shelter or rescue, the older pets that are for adoption have some type of problem or "baggage," or that the dog or cat is not a good candidate for adoption based on some other illogical reason.
There are many reasons that older pets wind up in shelters or become homeless: foreclosure, death of a family member, allergies, work schedule change, moving to a new home that does not allow pets, new baby, change in lifestyle, new relationship doesn't like pets and the list goes on .
There are many wonderful reasons to adopt the older pet. The vast majority of potential adopters enter a shelter looking for a puppy or a kitten not realizing the advantages of the older pet. The pet probably has some training, has been socialized around people, and is eager to experience the love that you can share. They are usually housebroken, no longer chewing and don't have as much energy as the pup or kitten. And for those people that believe that "you can't teach an old pet new tricks" you are so wrong. Many of the older pets that I have adopted were so happy to please that they were actually easier to train than some of the younger pets I've worked with.
Here is a list of reasons to adopt an older pet from several humane and rescue groups:
What you see is what you get -- when you adopt an older pet you know what they look like and how big they are (but remember that you can't always judge a pet's personality when they are behind bars, give them a chance.)
Older pets generally settle in easy and bond rapidly with the new family.
Many older pets have already experienced parts of life, like riding in a car, going to the vet, walking on a leash and are just happy to be with you.
Older pets know you saved their lives and pay you back everyday for the rest of theirs.
They are thankful for that second or third chance.
Older pets have wisdom that should be calming to a new owner
When you adopt older pets, you can erase their past unpleasant experiences by loving and caring for them.
Older pets crave the same sense of belonging and need for love that all living things do.