1. November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month.
Although any time of the year is a good time to open your home to a senior pet, National Senior Pet Month might be a particularly good time because it’s the month of Thanksgiving. And what could make an older dog, cat, or rabbit waiting in a shelter more thankful than to be welcomed into a new home?
Sadly, many senior pets are waiting in shelters for a loving home. And while shelter life can be hard on any animal, it can take a greater toll on seniors, who might have spent their entire life with a loving owner who died or, because of health or financial circumstances, no longer can care for their loyal companion. These older animals, who still have so much life and love to share, often are overlooked by adopters hoping to adopt a puppy or kitten.
But making a case for adopting an older pet is easy! For starters, senior pets are likely to be more mellow and relaxed than youngsters. Their personalities are fully developed, so you generally know exactly who you’re bringing home with a senior pet. Older pets generally are more adaptable to their new home. They can be great stress relievers, enjoying leisurely walks and gentle play. And they usually demand far less attention than a puppy or kitten, adapting to their new owner’s lifestyle instead of the other way around.
So if you’re considering adopting, do yourself (and some lucky older pet) a favor and consider adopting a senior. If you’re not looking to adopt but want to do something positive for senior pets, you might consider supporting the Grey Muzzle Organization. This organization improves the lives of at-risk senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal shelters, rescue organizations, sanctuaries, and other non-profit groups nationwide.
2. Give a Shelter Pet a Home for the Holidays.
With the holiday season just around the corner, you have the opportunity to give the greatest gift of all – a loving home! – to a rescue dog, cat, or rabbit. For many households, the holidays provide an ideal time to introduce a new member to the family. The kids are home from school, parents often have more time off from work, and with more people working from home these days, a newly adopted pet can get lots of attention to help acclimate to a new home.
Whenever you plan to adopt, be sure you include the whole family in the decision. Ideally, take the kids and any other members of the household who will be involved in your new pet’s care when you go to meet your new family member. While surprising a spouse or child with a new pet might sound like a good idea, it’s not! For everyone’s sake, including the new pet, you’ll want to make sure everyone in the household is on board with the decision and prepared to give your new pet the best and most devoted family possible.
If the holidays aren’t the right time for you to adopt, you can always wait until after the first of the year, when life for some people settles down after a hectic holiday. A gift certificate from a shelter or rescue group can make a wonderful gift, followed by a family visit to the shelter after the holidays to meet all the great animals awaiting new homes.
3. Adopting a Pet is a Win-Win Proposition.
We’ve been through a punishing pandemic. We’re not across the finishing line yet. And if you’ve made it this far without the comfort and companionship of a furry, four-footed friend, then you deserve to reward yourself. You’ve probably heard the term “pandemic pets,” referring to the pets people acquired during times of isolation and stress over the past 18 months. Companion animals can shine a light in our lives during the darkest of times. When we make the lifetime commitment to adopt a homeless pet, we can reciprocate by shining a light into their life. The result? We both enjoy a brighter future!
Read more about adopting a pet.
Locate a shelter or rescue group in the New York City area.
Not ready to adopt? Then consider fostering a pet instead.
As Thanksgiving approaches, we offer our sincere thanks to the thousands of people who have heeded our call to Adopt A Little New Yorker Today®, and to our many supporters who have helped sustain us in our mission to make New York City a better place for animals. We invite you to support our efforts as we continue to work to improve the lives of NYC’s animals and the people who care for them.