Old animals rejected by new pet owners
OLDER animals are being left on the shelf at a rescue centre – because no-one wants to adopt them.Potential owners are overlooking older animals, but rescue centre staff have said they still have a lot of love to give.
OLDER animals are being left on the shelf at a rescue centre - because no-one wants to adopt them.
Potential owners are overlooking older animals, but rescue centre staff have said they still have a lot of love to give.
Staff at the Felixstowe Blue Cross animal welfare and adoption centre say some older animals stay at the unit for months and if they are not found a home, could face being put down.
"That's something we really would not want to do, but we desperately want to find loving homes for some of these pets," said deputy manager Laura Holland-Astell.
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"People get very interested in a pet until we tell them it's age, and then they don't want to know at all and they are out of the door and away.
"It's such a shame because these cats and dogs are lovely and have got such a lot of love to give and would make really good companions.
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"The older animals often make better pets because of their experience. Behaviour-wise, they are just looking for a quiet life, they are house-trained and used to people, and don't make big demands on their owners.
"I think some pet owners are just being ageist. I wouldn't want to be abandoned just because I was old and these pets probably need homes more than the younger ones which always find new homes really quickly."
Most prospective owners reject the older pets because they are looking for an animal that will be with them for many years to come, and also because they fear large vet's bills.
But older pets can live many more years and all animals at the centre in Walton High Street are given a full health check before they are adopted.
"Often if an animal does need medicine it is not as expensive as people might think - one with a heart problem which we had recently needed tablets but they were only £12 for the whole year," she added.
Among the older animals at the centre currently needing a home are 11 cats over ten years old. Many have come to the centre because of their previous owners changing circumstances - such as a marriage break-up, person moving into a flat or rented accommodation, or an owner dying.
The cats include a blind 12-year-old cat called Anna, who staff say is "very sweet" and would make a lovely pet, while the dogs include an 11-year-old collie who has been waiting for a home for several months.
Anyone able to give the animals a home should contact the Blue Cross on 01394 283254.