Press release: PetSmart Charities
Pets are having a moment. 2020 was a banner year for furry citizens, as reports indicate that the demand for pets spiked. The benefits of the human-animal bond were never more apparent as pets became “colleagues” to so many while working remotely.
While puppies and kittens are natural magnets to potential new families, senior pets can be overlooked. Many need loving homes in which to spend their golden years. During National Adoption Week from November 8 – 14, PetSmart Charities, the leading funder in animal welfare in the U.S., encourages those looking for a new best friend to consider senior pets. During November’s National Adoption Week and throughout the year, PetSmart stores across the U.S. open their doors to local Animal Welfare Organizations to help people make perfect matches.
Senior animals often spend the longest time at shelters and in many cases are deemed unadoptable. Many potential adopters are hesitant to take home an older pet, believing that the pet has been surrendered due to behavioral issues. In many instances, senior pets were companions of elderly people who died or had to move to an assisted living facility that would not allow pets. Similarly, economic hardships or lifestyle changes may force a family to relinquish a beloved pet.
“More than half of American households have pets, which is good news,” said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities. “But there are still more than five million pets that enter shelters each year in need of loving homes. Puppies and kittens are cute — but require a lot of care and attention. Senior pets have so much love to give, and their calm, gentle demeanors make them ideal matches for many households. National Adoption Week is the perfect time to head to a local PetSmart store and meet some older pets. Your carpets and furniture will thank you, too.”
PetSmart Charities encourages potential adopters to consider the following reasons to take home a senior pet:
- Emotional and psychosocial benefits. Older pets provide a sense of comfort and help improve loneliness in times of isolation, especially for senior citizens. Older pets also help ease social anxiety in new or uncertain situations.
- Saving lives. Many people are quick to adopt kittens and puppies, often overlooking older pets.
- Older pets are not necessarily “problem animals.” Senior pets are often relinquished for a variety of reasons, usually having nothing to do with their behavior or temperament, but because their families are unable to keep due to lifestyle changes such as a move, new infant or change in marital status.
- Older pets usually come trained and understand at least basic cues. For example, older dogs are often potty-trained and may have mastered the basic cues such as “sit,” “stay,” “come” and “down.” Adopting an already-trained dog saves pet parents the time associated with training a younger dog. Still, older pets an also learn new tricks.
Each National Adoption Week, PetSmart Charities invites thousands of local Animal Welfare Organizations to bring adoptable pets into PetSmart stores across the country, giving so many loveable animals the best chances of finding new homes. Since 1994, more than 9.7 million pets have been adopted through PetSmart Charities.
Those who aren’t ready to expand their family and adopt a pet can still help pets in need by making a financial donation online at PetSmart Charities.