As hard as it is for animals to get adopted, senior pets face a much harder journey. They are frequently overlooked due to their shorter life expectancy and unknown veterinary liabilities. Fortunately, there are many nuanced ways you can help these senior pets in need.
They’re wise beyond their years.
Senior pets make wonderful companions, as they’re often fully trained, calm and more mature. Organizations like Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary allow you to foster or adopt a senior pet in addition to providing multiple opportunities in which to volunteer. The Grey Muzzle Organization headquartered in Raleigh, NC, provides funding for senior dog programs, nationwide. They need ambassadors to spread the word about their work in several different sates, in addition to seeking help with writing, editing and graphic design.
Seniors helping seniors.
“Since 1967, PAWS has united more than 130,000 companion animals with loving families, cared for 115,000 injured and orphaned wild animals, and made the world a better place for countless others through advocacy and education.” Through their Seniors for Seniors program, Washington State residents over age 60 can adopt a senior pet at a significantly discounted rate. The program also provides support after adoption, to help you get off to a great start. At the local level, if you know a senior with a pet who could use a helping hand, you can offer transportation to vet appointments, facilitate potty breaks or meet other owner needs. This Senior Pet Care Guide can help. Another great way to help senior animals, and their families, is to volunteer to foster the pets of active, injured and retired military personnel.
Being there when they need you most.
As pets get older, they often require more medical care, and that can be an overwhelming burden on a long-time pet owner, particularly those with limited income. The Community Animal Rescue Effort, or C.A.R.E. helps to provide financial assistance for pet owners in need. Through their site, you can also find out how to volunteer to help at pet food pantries, adoption and outreach events. End-of-life care and hospice options for pets also represent great opportunities for volunteers. The ASPCA explains some of programs available to owners, or you can find volunteer opportunities at local pet hospices through Pet Peace of Mind.
Discover more ways to help furry friends in your local community with this simple volunteer search and keyword “pets.”