San Diego Services for Aging Pets

by Anna West

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With all the research behind the connection between animals and happiness, more and more people and organizations are starting to realize what an asset a pet can be to our lives. Some of the findings behind this research include happiness, a sense of responsibility, increased social interaction, and even overall physical and mental health. Whether you own a dog, cat, bird, or any other animal, your pet will always provide you with unconditional love. The amazing thing about animals is that their love and affection toward their owners does not waiver depending on the pet’s age or their owner’s age. Some of the deepest bonds between animals and owners are the ones that develop over time.

When it comes to bringing a new pet into the home, it’s shown time and time again that most people do not consider adopting a senior animal. Misconceptions that the animal might have health issues, be too set in their ways to adopt, or simply the worry of limited time with them keeps most people adopting much younger kittens and puppies. The truth of the matter is, a senior animal could potentially be a much better fit. Senior animals don’t require as much training, they’re usually potty trained, their temperament has calmed down, and for someone who might not be very mobile, they don’t require as much physical exercise.

The flip side to adopting senior pets is senior citizens adopting pets for themselves. Some seniors might realize that caring for a pet becomes harder with age, and they may decide to give their pets up or decide not to adopt in the first place. Many seniors are on a limited income, so paying for their pet’s needs may get harder with age. That being said, seniors are sometimes the people who need an animal’s love the most. Most seniors live alone, can’t be in social environments as much, or no longer have their normal day-to- day responsibilities.

San Diego, one of our country’s most pet-friendly cities, is spearheading both the senior pet and seniors with pets movement. With research showing the benefits of these connections for both pets and their owners, organizations are popping up to help facilitate this need. Below you’ll find a list of companies who dedicate their time to helping seniors care for their pets, as well as companies who are determined to support San Diego’s senior pet community.

Senior Animals

Lionel’s Legacy, El Cajon, CA. This nonprofit is San Diego based and serves as a rescue for senior dogs. They have all breeds, and the goal is to find these sweet pups their forever home. The organization started after a very organic experience with a senior rescue pit bull, and from then on, the founders knew their calling was to help older dogs get the love and care they deserve.

Frosted Faces Foundation, Ramona, CA. This non-profit advocates for the care of senior dogs and strives to give them the love and attention of a family environment while they are at the rescue. This rescue is based out of the East County area in Ramona but will accept animals from anywhere.

Friends of Cats, El Cajon, CA. Unlike many nonprofits, Friends of Cats focuses solely on the well-being of cats. This shelter strives to be the home for any unwanted or abandoned cat who comes their way. A majority of cats that do come their way are either older cats whose owners cannot pay the vet bills for their aging animal or younger cats whose owners can’t keep up with them. Either way, Friends of Cats never turns down a cat in need and funds its efforts by its memberships, donations, and grants.

Senior Citizens

Serving Seniors: Pet Pals. Serving Seniors is a San Diego-based nonprofit with a national and international reputation for providing impactful programs and services to older adults living in poverty. Serving Seniors is supported primarily by donations, grants, bequests and investments. They have a division of their organization dedicated to helping seniors with pets. Serving Seniors’ Pet Pals Program helps disadvantaged seniors care for their companion animals by providing free pet food, supplies, and direct financial assistance for veterinary care.

San Diego Humane Society Senior Adoption Program. The SD Humane Society is already very well known in any effort to help unwanted pets get adopted. They’ve taken it to the next level by understanding the importance of seniors having that special bond with an animal. The Senior Adoption Program waives the adoption fee for any animal to senior citizens 55 years of age or older. All animals in the adoption program are spayed/ neutered, have current vaccinations, permanent microchip identification, and more!

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