GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Rescue groups say more senior pets are ending up in area animal shelters and most never make it out alive.
According to rescue volunteers, many senior pets end up in shelters after either their owners moves to assisted living, where pets are not allowed, or the owner passes away. Senior pets are, on average, eight and older. Animal advocates say senior dogs and cats are almost always euthanized because families looking to adopt want puppies and kittens.
"Most shelters try so hard, they don't want to have to euthanize so many animals but they just run out of room and people don't realize if they surrender their pet to a shelter there is a good chance that it won't make it out," said Jan Grafton of Juliet's House, a rescue group she started 5 years ago. "A lot of times people get ill or pass away and they don't have plans for their animals."
Grafton is trying to change that, pointing out that senior pets are some of the best because they are already housebroken and almost always laid back.
"They are diffidently more laid back, they are just full of love."
Grafton works to save senior pets, even those that may need medical attention. A fund called Boo's Gifts helps cover those expenses. Named for a senior chihuahua, surrendered to a shelter, Boo was adopted by a family and lived 7 more happy, healthy years.
"We always need fosters and donations for them," said Grafton who reminds us all to not forget our pets when making plans for our senior years. "Make plans to have a commitment from somebody because others wise the older animals end up at a shelter."
If you would like to adopt a senior pet or help by making a donation to Boo's Gifts click here.