Senior dog advocacy group The Grey Muzzle Organization has released the results of a survey on the adoption of senior shelter and rescue dogs. There’s been a growing interest in the adoption of senior dogs over the last few years, and the numbers prove it. Once considered virtually unadoptable, senior shelter dogs (and cats) are now benefitting from a senior pet “trend” across the U.S.
Why the growing interest in senior dogs? Grey Muzzle reports that more people are open to the idea of adopting an older dog, and they recognize the benefits of bringing a calm, well-trained, and adaptable dog into the family.
Grey Muzzle provides grants to organizations that assist at-risk senior dogs (including the FACE Foundation!) and they surveyed 30 grant recipients that helped dogs in 2016. Here are the key findings:
- Two thirds of respondents reported that the situation for homeless senior dogs has improved over the last 2 years.
- 80% of the respondents said they have seen positive changes in the public’s perception of senior dogs.
- The majority of senior dog adopters choose older dogs for altruistic reasons…to provide them with a comfortable home for their remaining years.
- One half of the respondents said that more younger people are seeking out senior dogs. Social media may be a factor…seeing pictures of dogs they want to help, and also the “trendiness” dynamic.
- Two thirds of survey respondents report that senior humans are still the most likely adopters of senior dogs, since a low-key pup is just the thing for humans who have slowed down a bit.
- Most respondents agree that the main factors in not adopting a senior dog are fears of the dog passing away quickly, and also high veterinary bills. Advocates note that the word “senior” can be used for dogs as young as 7. For many, that’s just middle age. As for vet bills, Grey Muzzle notes that they and their grantees (like FACE) provide assistance for veterinary care to qualified pet owners.