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11/13 Editorial: This month is 'Adopt a Senior Pet Month' - Here's why you should

4:57 PM EST, November 13, 2013

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This week on pages 4-5B you'll find a special feature dedicated to pet adoption. The pictures you see there are of local dogs and cats in need of a home. When you adopt from a shelter, like the New Kent Animal Shelter and the Regional Animal Shelter in King William County, you're preventing an animal from becoming one of the 3.7 million unwanted pets that must be euthanized each year.

In light of this, we encourage you to visit one of these shelters to find your perfect pet, and we hope you give the older pups a chance to shine in their golden years too.

November is "Adopt a Senior Pet Month." Below you'll find eight reasons why you should:

1.) What You See is What You Get: Older dogs are open books - from the start, you'll know important things like their full-grown size, personality, and grooming requirements.

2.) Easy to Train: Think you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Of course you can! Older dogs are great at focusing on you - and the task at hand - because they're calmer than youngsters.

3.) They're Not a 24-7 Job: Grown up dogs don't require the constant monitoring puppies do, leaving you with more freedom to do your own thing. If you have young children, or just value your "me time," this is definitely a bonus.

4.) They Settle in Quickly: Older dogs have been around the block and already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of the pack. They'll be a part of the family in no time!

5.) Fewer Messes: Your floors, shoes, and furniture will thank you for adopting a senior pooch! Older dogs are likely to already be house trained - and even if they're not, they have the physical and mental abilities to pick it up really fast (unlike puppies). With their teething years far behind them, seniors are also much less likely to be destructive chewers.

6.) They Enjoy Easy Living: Couch potato yourself? Please consider a canine retiree rather than a high-energy young dog who will run you ragged. Not that older don't require any exercise - they do - but they're not going to need, or want, to run a marathon every day.

7.) Save a Life, Be a Hero: At shelters, older dogs are often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized. Saving an animal's life offers an unparalleled emotional return on your investment, and you'll feel the rewards every day you spend together.

8.) They're Cute! Need we say more?!