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Skipper, like many older pets, has been missed by potential adopters.

Skipper, a pleasant, wholesome and homeless black cat, is able to give and obtain love in a brand new house as a lot as any of his cohabitants on the ASPCA Adoption Heart. He loves his mouse toys and having his nostril rubbed, however as cats and kittens round Skipper get adopted every single day, one factor holds him again: Skipper is 8.

Skipper’s age isn’t his downside a lot as an issue within the minds of potential adopters conditioned to suppose that, as a result of kittens and puppies are “cuter,” they could make higher pets or create stronger bonds.

Neither is essentially true, and this prejudice might be lethal. Older animals with longer stays are sometimes the least prone to be adopted and the most probably to be euthanized.

That is why coming to a shelter with an open thoughts is so essential. And in addition to I do this whenever you’re on the lookout for a brand new pet and personally work together with a shelter animal, the importance of his or her age immediately plummets.

Views also can change when our media channels turn out to be extra inclusive. Social media has largely accomplished its half to showcase older and grownup animals, together with Chloe Kardoggian (age 13), Marnie the Dog (age 16), and Lil Bub (age 6), and their platforms are being admirably used to lift consciousness about grownup and senior animal adoption.

However we nonetheless must see extra depictions of wholesome grownup pet adoptions within the storylines of children’ books, video games, films, TV reveals and commercials.

Canine Bowl stars Dino (left) and Gus, each 6, had been adopted from the ASPCA Adoption Heart.

The Canine Bowl

In a single optimistic growth, Animal Planet’s Pet Bowl, now in its 14th yr, added Puppy Bowl Presents: The Dog Bowl the evening earlier than the yr’s largest soccer sport.

The sport was performed solely by older canine, together with a 6-year-old retriever combine named Gus and a 6-year-old Labrador/beagle combine named Dino, each of whom had been adopted from the ASPCA Adoption Center in 2017.

We hope that seeing the enjoyable, playful aspect of grownup animals in The Canine Bowl inspired single-minded adopters to suppose once more.

5 Benefits of Adopting an Older Pet

Lastly, we have to name out and share the various sizable benefits to caring for a extra mature animal:

  1. Older animals with a historical past of dwelling inside a household could settle in additional rapidly than a pet or kitten.
  2. Grownup animals received’t have teething issues and can come into your life much less prone to trigger destruction. Many are already house-trained and have already mastered primary instructions.
  3. It might be simpler to bond with older animals attributable to their usually calmer inclinations, their familiarity with house environments and their expertise dwelling with different animals.
  4. Grownup animals require much less supervision than puppies or kittens, who generally can’t distinguish between protected conditions and harmful ones and should not know — or care — what “no” means.
  5. Whereas the personalities of puppies and kittens change as they develop up, the personalities of grownup animals are absolutely shaped, which makes them extra predictable. That doesn’t imply grownup animals can’t be taught — in actual fact, they are often amazingly adaptive.

Nonetheless animal adopters get the message, they should know that one of the simplest ways to discover a “perfect pet” is by checking preconceived notions on the shelter door, asking plenty of questions and letting their hearts information them.

A candy canine or cat’s life could rely on it.

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This text was written by Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).