One of them threw a “pity party” after spending a year in a shelter. But here’s why these pets are actually ideal for many people.

While some puppies and kittens get picked up from shelters in British Columbia, others spend months waiting for a “furry” home.

In some cases, animals can wait years for a permanent place to settle or never find a loving owner.

Staff at the Surrey Animal Resource Center recently placed a German Shepherd named Emma in their care.pity partybecause she’s been living at the shelter for over a year “waiting for someone special to bring her home.”

Unfortunately, Emma is far from an anomaly, even at the Surrey shelter.

Shelter manager Shelley Joaquin said the high rate of locals taking dogs for adoption has decreased since the peak at the start of the pandemic. Now many animals stay at the shelter for over 100 days.

According to Joaquin, animals that stay in shelters for long periods of time can suffer long-term consequences, including an increased likelihood of behavioral problems and an affected immune system.

Shelter staff built an “Enchanted Forest” play area to keep the animals occupied, which is made up of 3,300 pounds of recycled tires from 215 car tires; this was made possible by a grant from Kal Tire’s Kal’s RePlay Fund.

But the creative play space doesn’t compare to living in a loving home.

Pet adoptions plummet as pandemic picks up

The BC SPCA has also seen provincewide adoptions decline since the record response since the pandemic began.

“When a puppy was given to us, we received multiple applications — sometimes as many as 100 — within 24 hours,” says Lorie Chortyk, general manager of communications for the BC SPCA.

“People were very eager to adopt, and that interest in adoption has remained strong until now.”

Although British Columbia has not seen the increase in the number of pandemic puppies and kittens abandoned like other shelters across Canada, a significant number of animals have been cared for through investigations. on cruelty, abandonment of animals or stray animals that are not claimed.

And while many people prefer to adopt puppies or kittens, others recognize the benefits of welcoming an older pet into their lives.

BC SPCA Animal Welfare Manager Kim Monteith says Vancouver is awesome that there are a range of benefits to adopting an older cat or dog. But it depends on whether they will need ongoing medical care or just a place to retire.

“I wouldn’t say age is a factor when it comes to adopting animals, I think different animals like rabbits are harder to adopt. We’re so lucky here in Vancouver, the people are amazing and want to adopt old and young,” she explains.

Some older pets may even be easier to adopt because they are trained or have fewer behavioral issues. And, of course, they are also “special people” who open their hearts and homes to senior pets “who may not live long or need ongoing medical care,” adds Monteith.

“We always find those special people.”

What are some of the benefits of adopting a senior pet?

Older animals can already be trained, making them ideal pets for people who want to relax on the couch and not deal with the boundless energy of a rambunctious puppy or mischievous kitten. Simply put: many of them won’t “take the work a young animal will need”.

Unfortunately, some older furry best friends languish in shelters longer – and they may not have as many years left.

Dorothy is a 12-year-old maid with short hair who has been in the custody of the BC SPCA for 57 days. She was brought to the Vancouver SPCA branch as a stray in very poor condition.

“Dorothy is very forgiving and a real darling. She loves lots of pets and lounging around humans. When she gets the chance, she sits and sunbathes or looks out the window and people are watching,” says Monteith.

The senior cat’s favorite pastimes include “catnip, treats, head scratching, naps and more catnip” and she’s a “very social girl” who can also be independent .

“She would do well in a quieter home with no other pets as she is still healing from surgery,” she adds, noting that she loves attention and would benefit from being adopted by someone. one who is very much at home.

The Vancouver branch does not euthanize healthy adoptable animals. Instead, animals that are not adopted in town are transferred by its Drive For Lives program to other BC SPCA centers to increase their chances of adoption.

People looking to adopt a new pet should always consider whether they have the resources and the time to devote to them. Adopting a pet is not something to be taken lightly. Take a look at some Adoption considerations and tips with the BC SPCA.

If you are looking to adopt, see BC SPCA Adoption Resource on line. You will be asked to submit an online application form, which staff will review. If you seem to match, you will be invited to come and meet the animal.