Students for Animal Welfare recognizes Adopt a Senior Pet Month
TNE Editor

Students for Animal Welfare recognizes Adopt a Senior Pet Month

Published 11/9/17

Jessica Sudbeck

TNE Writer

Many people who enter a shelter hoping to adopt a new kitten or puppy overlook older cats and dogs.  Senior pets spend the longest amount of time waiting for their new adoptive family.

National Adopt a Senior Pet Month, recognized in November, was started for shelters and rescues across the country to heavily advertise the benefits of adopting an older friend.

One NSU organization that works with animals of all ages is Students for Animal Welfare.  Student volunteers go to the Humane Society of Cherokee County and help walk dogs and play with the cats up for adoption, as well as organize fundraisers for the no-kill shelter.

“At the shelter we have a lot of senior pets,” said Jonathon Fain, Students for Animal Welfare president.  “The nature of the beast is senior pets just do not get adopted that much.

Fain said there are dogs at the shelter who have lived there most of their lives and now are starting to reach an old age and nobody will take them.

“It is the saddest thing ever seeing all of the dogs there,” said Fain. “They sit there in their cage and get walked. In the twilight of their years you can give them a good home.”

Members of Students for Animal Welfare feel like working at the humane society has a higher purpose and they enjoy their time with the animals.

“I enjoy the other side of the shelter unseen from the outside,” said Gaelen Rose, Kansas senior and Students for Animal Welfare member.  “We enrich the animals lives by fixing their pens and shoveling gravel so they have a good base to walk on inside of their pen, as well as rake leaves so they may enjoy their time inside the cages.” 

Students for Animal Welfare does not only go to the shelter and help the animals. They also organize fundraisers to raise money for leashes, dog beds and pet food among other supplies.  Because the Humane Society is a no-kill shelter and receives no funding from the government they need all of the help they can get. 

Members of the humane society and Students for Animal Welfare make sure the dogs who have been there for an extended period of time are taught simple tricks like sit and stay and nurture them to be more sociable so that when do find that perfect home they can adapt well to the family.

“I personally enjoy watching the dogs’ mood change as people arrive at the shelter,” said Randilyn Thompson, Sand Springs senior and Students for Animal Welfare member.  “It is enjoyable watching them run around and being playful when people stop by, because they live the majority of their lives seeing three metal walls and a fence.”

Adopting a senior pet has many benefits according to the members of Students for Animal Welfare.  The animals tend to be kinder, calmer and easier to take care of.

“They just want to be loved,” said Thompson.  “They want a warm and loving home they can be a part of. Regardless if you take them for walks every day, they just want that little piece of heaven before it is their time to go.”

People who adopt older animals feel a special sense of pride and purpose in opening their heart to a hard-to-place pet.

For students or anyone in the community who feels they may not have the time or funds to take care of a pet full time, the humane society has a free program called the Buddy Program.

“Basically, you go to the shelter and choose any dog,” said Fain.  “You get to spend one hour a week with that dog, taking it for walks and playing with it until it is adopted.  By the time the animal gets adopted it has more of a happy personality and does not spend so much time caged up.”

Students for Animal Welfare meets at 4:15 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday behind the John Vaughan Library to go to the Humane Society of Cherokee County to walk and play with the animals at the shelter.

Students for Animal Welfare will have its last fundraiser for this semester at 8 p.m. on Nov. 14 in Room 224 of the UC.  The members will feature a pet-related movie with pizza and drinks. Admission is free to paid members and $3 to nonmembers. 

For more information regarding the Buddy Program or about Students for Animal Welfare, visit their Facebook page.    

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