March 04, 2005 00:22 ET
Mature Dog Adoptions Celebrates March as Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month
Charity working to help older dogs find loving homes
Attention: Assignment Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor
KINGSTON, ON--(CCNMatthews - March 4, 2005) - Mature Dog Adoptions of Ontario is urging people to save a life by adopting an older dog during March, Adopt-a-Senior-Dog Month. Often overlooked in shelters, mature and senior dogs can spend months in kennels waiting to be noticed and adopted. A little gray on the face means a lot of experience with humans: older dogs have a great deal of love to give, usually settle into a new home quickly, and make rewarding companions. Most are well-mannered and trained, and they don't have the energy and exercise requirements of a puppy or young dog. Adopters have the advantage of "what you see is what you get" in terms of size, behaviour and health, as the dog has finished growing and his personality is well-developed. Quite often, the older dog seems to understand she has been given a second chance at happiness, and bonds very strongly with adopters. In a society that seems enraptured with youth, adopting an older dog can remind us about compassion and the value of all life at all ages.
Many people hesitate about adopting an older dog for 3 main reasons: they're afraid the dog has behaviour problems, and think that's why it is in the shelter; they don't want to get attached to a dog whom they will only have for a short time; and they are concerned that the dog will have age-related medical problems and require costly veterinary care. According to Bobbie Glazier, founder of Mature Dog Adoptions, these issues should not deter someone from considering an older dog. "Often the older dog ends up in the shelter when an elderly owner has gone to hospital, a nursing home, or has died. Other reasons for dogs being surrendered to a shelter are marriage breakups, moves, job loss or any number of reasons that have nothing to do with the dog's suitability as a pet," says Bobbie. "With improved health care and diet, dogs are living longer, so adopting a senior dog doesn't necessarily mean you will only have the dog for a few months or a year. On the updated veterinary age chart, a medium sized 9-year-old dog is only about fifty in human years." Consider also that there are never any guarantees about length of life with any dog, and that quality of time together can matter a great deal more than quantity. Bobbie reminds people that, "Veterinary attention is needed at all ages and may or may not be more costly for an older dog. Before you adopt a senior, be sure you get a health report from a veterinarian. That way, if you discover that the dog has a health problem, you can decide if you are able to make the needed financial commitment." Depending on their resources, some rescue societies and shelters will even make arrangements to cover or contribute to the costs of medical care for a period of time.
To find your new best friend, and to learn about adopting and caring for a mature dog, visit www.maturedogs.petfinder.org today.
Mature Dog Adoptions
Registered Charity #885641803RR0001
Founded in 1997, Mature Dog Adoptions was established as a charity and an online resource to promote the adoption of older dogs. Founder Bobbie Glazier learned that dogs four years and older were overlooked by potential adopters visiting shelters. Bobbie called one shelter to offer help for a 10-year-old collie, only to find that the dog had been euthanized because no one was interested in adopting a senior dog. Since then, Bobbie has worked tirelessly to educate the public about the benefits of adopting an older dog, providing foster care for as many mature dogs as she can, and listing others on the Mature Dog Adoptions web site through petfinder.com. Currently, the web site, listing approximately 70 dogs from all over Ontario, an average age of 8 to 9 years, receives 11,000 hits per week. Visit www.maturedogs.petfinder.org for more information.
/For further information: Nancy Carter
M. Michelle Nadon
IN: SOCIAL, OTHER