Be a hero to dogs young and old


To the Editor:

For thousands of years, dogs have been our best friends, our protectors and often our personal heroes, improving and even saving lives. That is why each October for more than 40 years American Humane has encouraged animal lovers to repay the favor by adopting a dog from a local shelter or rescue group during its annual Adopt-a-Dog Month.

While adopting a puppy or younger dog is great, we hope you will also consider adopting a senior dog. Sadly, senior animals spend the longest time at shelters and rescues. Animals past the age of 6 or 7 years old often are deemed unadoptable because of their age. Both dogs and cats of advanced age have higher euthanasia rates than their younger counterparts since they struggle to find homes. They can often live out the rest of their lives in the shelter, homeless and alone.

A senior animal can end up at a shelter for many different reasons but most are affectionate, wonderful companions who have just faced unfortunate circumstances. The benefits of adopting a senior dog are many: they tend to be less rambunctious than younger dogs, are often house-trained and are a great fit for people with busy lifestyles. They are grateful for a second chance and will give you lots of love and thanks!


Older animals have been lacking in a secure home environment. Once they know they are safe, they will always love and trust their owner. They still have so much to offer. This Adopt-a-Dog Month, I encourage everyone who is looking to add a furry companion to their family to stop and say hello to some of the older dogs at the shelter. Open your heart and your home and you may just find your new best friend.
Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO
American Humane, Washington, D.C.

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