There are many, many cats and dogs waiting in shelters for their fur-ever home. The cute fluffy kittens and puppies, the dogs and cats that are a recognizable breed, the young, the healthy, and the attractive – these animals have the best chance of finding a loving new owner.
But what about the oldsters? The ones that are a bit overweight? The blind ones, the deaf ones, the three-legged ones? They are often left behind, and perhaps, even euthanized because they are simply not attractive. But these animals can be some of the loveliest and most loving pets you could ever hope to have. They have the biggest hearts, the most gratitude, and are so eager to love and be loved.
PS. Learn about common ear problems in cats here.
Rescue Animals Have the Biggest Hearts
I’ve had rescue dogs all my life, and I am lucky enough to have the space and time to be owned by as many as six at a time. And somehow, when other people are adopting the handsome pitbull puppy or the adorable cocker spaniel – I end up taking pity on some hopeless looking mutt!
But actually, I’m pretty sneaky. Those great looking animals probably ended up in the shelter for a reason. Maybe they are hard to train, or bad-tempered, or inveterate escape artists, or prone to fighting, or have expensive health issues. Whereas the old beat-up looking dog probably got discarded by some uncaring person because they just didn’t look cute enough. (Sad to say, there is no shortage of hard-hearted owners.)
A Lot of the Older Adoptees Are There Because Their Owner Died
A very legitimate reason for older animals to be up for adoption is that their owners have died. Can you imagine how that fat old dog, who’s had a happy life with his owner, feels? Left on his own, not knowing why, and with no one to love him?
Dogs whose owners have died are among my number one candidate for joining my pack. For example, Digby. A medium-sized, brown in color, pretty nondescript dog who had been passed over by everybody. The Humane Society couldn’t find anyone who wanted him, and in the kennels, he had become shy and withdrawn. My husband and I heard about him and it just so happened we had a vacancy in our pack. We visited him, and he was sitting at the back of his cage looking very forlorn.
My husband spoke to him, and Digby immediately came to the front of his cage, wagging his tail nineteen to the dozen. The kennel girls were amazed. “He hasn’t wanted to interact with anyone since he arrived. “ It seems that my husband, rather tall, grey-haired, and gently spoken, was a bit like Digby’s late owner. Of course, we took him home with us, and although he was always a little bit reserved with me, he adored my husband, and they enjoyed many happy times together until Digby crossed the Rainbow Bridge at a ripe and happy old age.
Adopting a Handicapped Animal Takes a Special Kind of Person
My most unlikely rescue for Skippy, the three-legged Wonder dog. Skippy came to my notice after the death of my beloved Faye-Faye. My friends knew that I was looking for a very special dog to replace her. Skippy had been in a shelter in another town for three years. She’d had to have a leg amputated after an accident, and before that, she had been a street dog.
The first time I saw her she was sitting on a picnic table, and she immediately jumped off the table and came running over to me. She had obviously been in a few fights and had a scarred face and tattered ears. Getting up on her back legs, she embraced me with her one good front leg. It was as if she wanted to get heart to heart with me. I was sold. This kind of ugly “tripod” – as three-legged dogs are often called – became one of my most beloved dogs ever. She could run like the wind until a bit of arthritis and old age crept up on her. She lived to be over twelve years old, and I don’t think I ever had to take her to the vet once.
More Reasons to Adopt the Overlooked Fur-babies
I could go on forever telling you about my rescues, but here is a summary of reasons as to why you should check out the least popular dogs and cats in the shelter.
- Older dogs and cats have probably learned good manners, be house trained, and are used to being a companion
- Dogs and cats that are not purebred are often very hardy – they have hybrid vigor – and they will be a stranger to the vet’s office
- Disabled dogs and cats have often learned to get over their disability, and do as well as any other animals
- Ugly dogs and cats are beautiful inside and deserve a chance
- If not you, then who? These guys need a loving home – the kind that you can give.
- These animals seem to be especially grateful to have been rescued and love you a lot.