Humane Society director: 'No senior animal should have to spend its life in a shelter'

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HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - November is 'National Adopt a Senior Pet Month,' and animal advocates are taking the month to urge people to consider giving senior pets a forever home.

"Anytime somebody is thinking of really wanting to save a life," said Frankie Dennison, executive director of the Harrison County Humane Society. "If you want to adopt a shelter animal, a senior is a perfect way to do that. Because no senior animal should have to spend its life in a shelter."

Dennison said for many of the senior pets they see, it's the same sad story. An elderly pet owner passes away or moves to an assisted living home.

"The family can't take them, so that's why a lot of older dogs end up in shelters," she explained.

Dennison says the shelter has had more success in finding older cats homes, than they've had with older dogs. Just last week, they took in four senior dogs from three different homes.

"It's incredibly frustrating for them, you know? They're used to living in a home," she said. "They're used to a quieter environment, most likely."

The unfortunate reality, she says, is that older pets tend to get overlooked because people incorrectly assume that they won't fit in with the family.

"If you adopt a senior dog, you have a dog that's already house-trained," she said. "It's been used to living in a home. Sometimes they'll be so thankful that they'll fit in. They're not going to chew everything."

While Dennison runs a no-kill shelter, other shelters in the country may turn to euthanasia if staff can't find the older dogs or cats homes.

In Harrison County, though, Dennison says her shelter will happily house them as long as possible.

The conversation with Dennison continues in the video above.