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Senior Dogs Seek Loving Adopters

Update: February 14, 2013

Good news this Valentine’s Day! Pekay and Coco are now in permanent foster care, living with one of our wonderful volunteers, Michelle, who says the dynamic duo have settled in beautifully in her home. As you can see in this photo, which was taken when Michelle brought them in for a check-up, Pekay and Coco are surrounded with loving hugs.

Pekay, Coco and Charlie Girl's Story

They’re known as “the Golden Years”—and they have nothing to do with Golden Retrievers. Like gold, these later years in life are supposed to be precious and beautiful—a time when all creatures, both human and animal, spend many happy hours in the loving, compassionate company of friends and family.

But sadly, not everyone is so lucky. For older animals, who are at a high risk of euthanasia in traditional municipal shelters, the result is often tragic.

Why do animals in their golden years sometimes find themselves needing a new home? There are a variety of reasons—among them death or illness of their caretaker, natural disasters, military deployment or other emergencies. Although it’s hard to imagine, some owners simply give up on the pets that have given them so much joy over the years.

To make matters worse, finding new homes for older animals can be especially challenging. People are typically drawn to puppies and kittens—and even if they are open to adopting an adult animal, they might think twice about adopting a senior pet.

North Shore Animal League America recently rescued three wonderful senior dogs, and we’re determined to find these sweet animals the loving adopters who will provide them with the care they so richly deserve in their golden years.

The two Pekinese dogs pictured here are Pekay and Coco, a female and male duo who have lived together for their entire lives. They arrived at our Emergency Pet Shelter in November after their owner was impacted by Hurricane Sandy and could no longer care for them.

Christina, one of our staff members who has been caring for animals at the site, describes Pekay and Coco as “very, very sweet. They’re very loving dogs who just want to give love and be loved in return.”

As seniors, both Pekay and Coco have issues typical to dogs their ages (about 15), including dental decay, heart murmurs, and poor vision. But none of these conditions are severe, and neither dog is currently on any medication. They are now residing in a wonderful foster home near our Port Washington, NY, headquarters, where one of our devoted volunteers is caring for the duo until they find their perfect match.

Our next senior dog is Charlie, the gorgeous girl pictured here. For reasons unknown to us, the 13-year-old Collie mix was relinquished by her owners at a local municipal shelter. When Hurricane Sandy struck, the shelter became overcrowded, and animals who had been at the shelter for a long time and/or were deemed hardest to adopt were in imminent danger of being euthanized.

As an older dog with medical conditions, Charlie had very little chance of survival, so we brought her to the safety of our no-kill shelter. Our medical team evaluated the affectionate girl and determined that she suffers from arthritis and hypothyroidism, which are being treated with medication that we will continue to provide after Charlie is adopted. In addition, our behaviorists have determined that Charlie would do best in a home with no other dogs or cats.

It will take a very special person to adopt Charlie and provide this noble, faithful dog with a warm loving home as she lives out the final stage of her life. But we’ve been privileged to meet such animal lovers many times in our long history as the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization; that’s why we know that Charlie’s adopter is out there, waiting to bring home this deserving girl and give her the care she so richly deserves.

We would love to introduce you to these wonderful animals. Please contact Alex Bab at 516-883-7900, ext. 352, or email him at alexanderb@animalleague.org, to learn more.