(WAFF) - The statistics for older pets surrendered to animal shelters are sobering.
According to the ASPCA, the adoption rate for senior dogs is just 25 percent, while younger dogs have a 60 percent chance of being adopted.
A 2012 survey of rescue groups by Petfinder found that senior pets were significantly more difficult to place than younger pets with medical needs and/or behavioral issues.
Perhaps that's why there has been a more coordinated effort in recent years to promote the positives of senior pet adoption. In fact, the Washington Post recently reported that those efforts have not been in vain.
As awareness of the issue has grown, the number of specialized senior rescues has grown too. Many of these rescues serve both as senior living facilities, where senior dogs can live out their days comfortably, as well as foster organizations for those that are good candidates for placement.
One such organization is the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Mount Juliet, Tenn., which was established as a non-profit profit sanctuary in April 2012.
The OFSDS currently houses approximately 50 senior dogs on sanctuary grounds, with over 150 more in forever foster homes.
While they welcome and appreciate the support they receive from all over the world, OFSDS asks that potential foster pet parents live within 100 miles of the facility. They note that there are senior dogs at shelters in every community and ask that people consider adopting locally.
Anyone in the area considering adopting from the OFSDS can expect a thorough vetting process. Their goal is to provide forever forever homes, and not every family is equipped to deal with the unique challenges that can occur when caring for an older animal.
But for those who do clear the vetting hurdles, OFSDS says they will be matched with a wonderful companion animal—one that is mature, calm and loving. With many living out their final years enjoying the happiness and stability every pet deserves.
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