Last month, we shared some harrowing statistics for Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and showed how you can open your heart and home to one. This month -- also one of our favorites -- is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. If you didn’t know by now, Mamma Mabel’s Inn is a sanctuary for senior dogs (as well as special needs dogs, too). We have such a sweet spot for these ‘ole farts because they are the ones that need furever homes the most.
Of all the dogs in shelters, senior dogs are most often overlooked because of their age. It comes as no surprise that they are only adopted 25% of the time in comparison to their younger counterparts, who boast a 60% adoption rate. It is even more disheartening to learn that senior pups often wind up at the top of euthanasia lists because they are harder to adopt.
There are a few things we’d like to point out because these senior dogs were never “disposed of'' for being bad and they likely hadn’t grown up in a shelter setting either. Here are a few (real) reasons why senior dogs end up in shelters:
- Their owner passes away and there is no next-of-kin to take care of them. This is how we ended up with one of our pups, Cooper. Unfortunately, dogs will sometimes outlive their owners and there may not be a suitable in-family home for them to go to.
- Their owners may have gone through a nasty divorce, leaving them behind because they likely couldn’t come to a decision on who would care for them.
- Their medical bills become a financial burden. This is how we wound up with our namesake -- the late Mamma Mabel (may she rest peacefully). Mabel was a tripod hound who lost her leg to cancer and soon found herself surrendered to a Bladen County, NC shelter at 10 years old because her family could no longer afford her care.
- Their owners decide that they are now an “inconvenience” to have because they start to require more help and they probably wanted a pet that was more “low-maintenance.” This is how we acquired two of our other “Inners,” Marley and Abbie.
In all of these scenarios, the dog is free from blame. These examples speak volumes to how reckless people can be when it comes to dog ownership. It is a serious commitment that should not be taken lightly. The reality is, the cute puppy you wanted so badly as you window-shopped your local pet shop, will eventually grow up. Just like how humans require a little extra help in their old age, dogs are the same and should be treated as such.
We would never want a senior pup to spend their last days staring at four walls, waiting to be put down. If you are serious about adopting a shelter dog, don’t overlook the seniors -- they need you, too! And they will be so happy and grateful to be able to live out their golden years in a warm and loving furever home.