Rescue Group Claims Seniors Too Old For A Puppy

May 16th, 2009 by Dan

Doug and Harriet Thompson of Lebanon, Ohio are 69 and 70 years old. After the recent death of their 14 year old Lab, the Thompsons placed an application with a local Dachshund rescue who also handled other breeds of dogs. They were interested in adopting Bijou, a 1 year old poodle who needed a new home. Though they are retired, Harriet has only recently stopped working and Doug still works part time as a courier driver. They have been foster parents for the state of Ohio and have raised 7 children in addition to their own brood of 4.

When the Thompsons received an emailed response, they were taken aback. They were rejected for Bijou but told they might be considered for a dog between the ages of 6-10. No one had ever seen how active the couple was, no one knew their 40 year old son also lived with them and would always be there to provide for the dog if any emergencies came up. The Thompsons didn’t even respond to the email. Instead they contacted a breeder and are now the proud parents of a 4.5 month toy poodle named Izzy.

Thompson and Izzy

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I couldn’t be a stronger supporter of the many fantastic rescues out there that do so much thankless and tireless work for animals, but there are those rescues that rarely find a home that fits their criteria for adoption. These rescues are a disservice to the others who are out there trying to solve the animal overpopulation issue. They leave a bad taste into the mouths of those who come into contact with them – usually those individuals started out with the best of intentions.

There’s a lot to examine in cases like this one – retired couples often have a lot more time to spend with their pets, thus they are able to devote time to training and working with their pet. The breed’s activity level needs to be taken into consideration as does the activity levels of the adopters, but this can be evaluated on a case by case basis. Many active seniors are hard to keep up with and could benefit from a canine companion!

One Response to “Rescue Group Claims Seniors Too Old For A Puppy”

  1. shelter volunteer Says:

    I can understand why many adoption facilities are hesitant to adopt to the elderly. While they usually have more time for the animal, they may not have the energy to play/socialize with it or walk it. Plus, these animals can live for many years depending on the type and breed, and the shelters may want to make sure the animal is placed with an owner it can be with for the rest of its life. A retired, disabled army veteran came in to my shelter not too long ago and wanted a kitten, but we managed to talk him into taking home an older cat who wouldn’t require as much attention.

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