Residents of a local senior living community had a visit from special, furry local seniors recently. The visitors at were senior dogs from
Seniors at the assisted living community could pet or cuddle the dogs, if they wanted. The recent meet and greet opportunity was a way to introduce residents to a special pet adoption program.
This fall Animal Services started the "Senior-For-Senior" program. Volunteers visit pet friendly senior communities and match the personalities of the pets and the people.
Traditionally senior pets have been difficult to place. Many families prefer to adopt younger animals, which left senior pets in shelters, foster homes or to be euthanized, said volunteer Judy Elliott, who coordinates the senior pet adoption program.
Pet ownership can have positive health benefits. Pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels and feelings of loneliness. Plus pets increase opportunities for socialization, exercise and outdoor activities, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
There are many reasons to adopt a senior animal, according to Animal Services.
- Senior animals love to sleep and cuddle. They are happy for you to join them.
- Senior dogs have learned many life lessons. They know "shoes are for walking and bones are for chewing."
- Senior animals are mostly housebroken or litter box trained.
- Senior pets require less time than a puppy or kitten.
- What you see is what you get; senior pets tend to settle into the household more easily.
Adoption Information. The adoption fee is $20 (the regular fee is $40). There are age requirements for everyone in the program. Human seniors are ages 50 and up. Cats are ages 8 and up; small breed dogs are ages 8 and up; and large breed dogs are ages 6 and up. For more information: Call (727) 582-2600 or online. For specific senior pet adoption questions call Elliott at (727) 595-5822.