|Doris Endre and Red.|
Older animals tend to be less popular for adoption due to the perception that they may require increased care or medical attention, but the truth is they can make wonderful, low maintenance pets as they tend to be house trained, likely have received obedience training and are less frisky or rambunctious.
“The goal of the Seniors for Seniors program is to help enrich the lives of both pets and people,” says Bill Bruce, Director of Animal and Bylaw Services. “Not only does adoption give a deserving animal a much needed home, the adopter can benefit from reduced loneliness and increased opportunities for exercise, socialization and companionship. Owning a pet also has health benefits, like lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.”
For 89-year-old Doris Endre, the seven year old cat she recently adopted and re-named “Red” after her late son’s cat, has changed her life. “He’s as smart as anything,” says Endre of her feline companion. “I put him on a leash and take him out. I have less pain because I’m looking after him. It’s had a huge impact on my life.”
Through the program, seniors qualify for a 60 per cent discount when adopting a senior cat or dog. The reduction means it only costs $60 to adopt a cat and $80 to adopt a dog. The adoption fee includes a vet check, vaccinations, spay or neuter surgery, a microchip, a six-month City of Calgary licence and a bag of food.
Currently, the city shelter at the Animal Services Centre on Portland Street is caring for 63 cats, including 11 that are seven years or older, and 39 dogs, including six that are seven or older.
“These mature, well-socialized animals are often overlooked by adopters because of their age,” said Bruce. “However, when well cared for, senior cats and dogs can be a source of love and companionship for many years to come.”
For more information about the Seniors for Seniors program call 3-1-1 or visit calgary.ca/animalservices to view all cats and dogs available for adoption through Animal and Bylaw Services.