Thursday, June 14, 2012

Be the Difference for One Old Dog - Save Two Lives

Adopting an older dog saves at least two dogs' lives.

The most obvious life saved is the dog that was adopted. Even if that senior dog only has a year or two left, those years should count for something. They don't understand why they're being turned over to a shelter after living their entire lives with someone. Why make them suffer alone in a cold, dark cell for the rest of their days?

As pets that are often classified as "less adoptable," they are moved to the top of kill lists in some shelters to make room for more adopted (nee younger) pets. Keep in mind that for some shelters that are overcrowded, they're just looking to save as many animals as possible, but the concept is still a lot for a lot of animal lovers to grasp. If you love animals, this is something to consider when thinking about adopting a new pet.

The "other dog" is the one that gets that old dog's spot in the shelter, rescue, or foster and gets a chance to be seen by someone else instead of getting euthanized. Maybe the "other" is an older dog that the shelter staff took pity on. Maybe they're a younger ragged mutt that the staff can take some extra time to clean up and get adopted faster than if they were left sitting in their cell for a day or more just waiting to go out to relieve themselves.

"But I just want a puppy" is no excuse for checking out a shelter or considering an older dog. Buying from a breeder means another dog is being put down. I would encourage anyone in this situation to do the courageous thing and give the shelters and rescues a shot first.

Check out Petfinder or your local animal services websites and you'll find plenty of worthy dogs of every shape, size, and breed. Give it a try. I would venture to guess that given some very stringent requirement that you'd be able to find even the rarest breeds within 100 miles of where you live in the United States and many other countries around the world.

Support your local shelters. Give one old dog a couple of years of happiness. Be the difference.


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