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B.C.’s senior furry friends need your love too: SPCA

Older animals can stay at the SPCA for weeks or months waiting for their forever home

Senior dogs and cats at the BC SPCA are in need of forever homes too, however, these animals are often adopted last due to fears about medical concerns.

”It is common for a puppy or a kitten to be adopted in just a few days, whereas senior citizens might be at the SPCA for weeks if not months,” said Emma Hamill, the Victoria BC SPCA manager last month.

The oldest dog at the branch during the time of the interview was Olive, an 11-year-old border collie whose owner could no longer care for her due to health reasons.

“Olive needs a vet appointment to ensure she’s clear to get adopted. She is one of the sweetest dogs we’ve had in a long time,” said Hamill.

With dogs like Olive, the vet will conduct a urine check and get a blood sample before she is adopted into her new home so the new owner knows what to expect.

“With older animals, you have to be perceptive to their changes. So keeping an eye on monitoring them for any signs of decline.”

Hamill said these senior furry friends can have behavioural issues due to negative past experiences.

“Sometimes we have older animals who might have a lot of experience of trauma. And so there may be some behavioural challenges.”

The BC SPCA rarely euthanizes an animal, only if a medical problem is causing pain and discomfort.

“We will keep them as long as it takes, as long as they are healthy and their welfare is good.”

Hamill adopted a ten-year-old dog named Rufus and said it was a very rewarding experience.

“Compared to my other dog, who I’ve had since they were a puppy, it might be a little spoiled, while Rufus likes to show his gratitude in many loving ways.”

Hamill recalls a group of older sled dogs that had come in when she started her career. They were perfectly well-behaved and had no medical issues.

“A number of them were here for over a year… but it just took a bit of waiting for that perfect person. And then they found them,” she said.

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About the Author: Thomas Eley

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