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Out of the Cage! The Blog of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals

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Confirmed 'only cat' Casey (a.k.a. Mies) is an eight-year-old Russian Blue who was adopted from the Manhattan Animal Care & Control shelter.

Confirmed "only cat" Casey (a.k.a. Mies) is an eight-year-old Russian Blue who was adopted from the Manhattan Animal Care & Control shelter.

Out of the Cage! (Fall/Holiday 2007)

Two Tales of Re-homing Senior Pets

by Joan Antelman, Publisher, Senior Pets: All They Need is Love

I never thought I would personally have to re-home a pet, but this past year that's exactly what happened. Having been through the experience, I can offer other owner/guardians my expertise, advice, and help. Of course, keeping your pet would be the best option!

Following are two short stories about two wonderful senior animals who I was privileged to help find good new homes.

Casey is an eight-year-old Russian Blue who I adopted from the Manhattan Animal Care & Control shelter. I was warned that he might not get along with other cats but I was not deterred, as he would have been put down otherwise. Casey is a beautiful cat and I could not let this happen to him. After allowing him to hang out in the bedroom for a week or so, I finally let him out. All hell broke loose. He chased and yowled at Sadie and he tried to beat up Boogie — no easy feat since Boogie weighs 24 pounds. He seemed okay with Bailey, but that was it. Things never improved. He yowled all the time.

After more than a month or so, and after hiring a trainer, it was apparent that Casey was an "only" cat and needed a new home. I took great photos and posted him weekly on Craigslist, but nothing happened. My neighbor sent a couple of people over to meet him, but they were not the right type of adopters for Casey. I finally received a good e-mail from Craigslist after taking another set of new photos. Two really nice guys came to meet him and I knew right away this was the right home. Since I did not know them, I had them complete an application, I checked their references, and the next day I brought Casey, now called Mies, to his new home. We signed an official adoption contract, and they made a donation. The first night he turned into a lap cat! In the five months he was with me, he never sat on my lap. So when I went to see him last week, it was apparent that he was so happy in his new home. Now Mies has the forever home he needs. It just was not with me.

Ten-year-old Oliver now has a wonderful home with a loving couple in Connecticut.

Ten-year-old Oliver now has a wonderful home with a loving couple in Connecticut.

Oliver is a ten-year-old Collie mix. I saw the posting for Oliver on Craigslist and realized by reading it that the owner needed some help. It was not a good posting and he looked to be such a sweet dog that I thought he might go to the wrong person. Owner/guardians often do not really understand how to screen people. They don't ask for or check references. They certainly do not have an application or an adoption contract. They often find themselves in a desperate situation and feel the only solution is to take the dog to a shelter. I offered to help Oliver's owner/guardian find him a good home.

The first week I posted Oliver, I composed a great ad but no one serious answered. But as luck would have it, the second week I posted Oliver, a great e-mail came in and I had a gut feeling this was going to be Oliver's new home. A lovely couple in Connecticut was interested. They completed the application. I checked all the references, and in less than three weeks, we were driving up to Connecticut, taking Oliver to his new home — on almost three acres of land. The adopters paid an adoption fee, which I believe is important in any adoption because it demonstrates there is real value in adopting a pet. Success! I was so happy, I felt like the auntie. Meeting Oliver was great, as he was a big mushy dog who was so happy to be around people. After less than a week, Oliver has already adjusted to his new home, is climbing a steep staircase to sleep upstairs with the people, and is going hiking in the state park. This was one adoption that really brought tears to my eyes. It was a perfect match! I was so happy to be a part of it.

So many senior animals need homes. And they make such loving companions. Next time you add a furry member to your family, think about adopting an older dog or cat. If you'd like to find out why an older pet is a good choice, click here. The article offers ten good reasons to adopt a senior dog, but many of them apply to cats as well!

If you'd like to subscribe to my Senior Pets: All They Need is Love newsletter, please e-mail me at


Joan AntelmanAbout the Author

Joan Antelman is the publisher of Senior Pets: All They Need is Love, dedicated to finding homes for senior dogs and cats in New York City and its surrounding area. Joan works full-time for the New York City Department of Probation and spends much of her spare time helping animals and walking rescue dogs.