Senior-aged cats and dogs in shelters get their chance for adoption during Adopt a Senior Pet Month

Lucy (A402308) is a beautiful, 6-year-old tabby, and she knows it! This darling diva will command any room she feels deserves her presence. She has been spending time in one of our staff member’s offices and she couldn’t be happier. She loves stretching her legs, stealing the chair and generally making work very difficult to accomplish thanks to her desire to be seen and petted as often as possible. To say she is demanding of attention might be the understatement of the year! Lucy is available for adoption at Pasadena Humane.

This November, as we celebrate Adopt a Senior Pet Month, Pasadena Humane is excited to team up with AARP California to pilot PawsConnect: Matching Older Paws with Older People, a fee-waived adoption event, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. November 12. People of all ages are invited to adopt any of the available pets at our shelter with all fees waived.

AARP will be onsite with free giveaways. Pasadena Humane shelter staff will be on hand to provide information about programs and services like dog training, pet licensing and estate planning with pets in mind.

All pet owners can attest to the benefits of living with a furry friend.  For senior dogs and senior people, the relationship can be mutually beneficial.

Research has shown that some of the benefits for older adults who have a loving bond with a furry friend may include decreased blood pressure, decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels, increased fitness, lower stress, decreased feelings of loneliness, increased opportunities for socialization and quite simply — happiness.

If you find that you enjoy peace and quiet over a dance party and a reliable routine over spontaneity, Pumpkin King (A505596), a 13-year-old Chihuahua, is your perfect match. This sweet senior is through with his club days and would rather relax in your lap while taking in a quiet sunset or maybe a long walk on the beach, being carried, of course. He doesn’t need to be entertained but will gladly engage in a game of “swapping soft kisses for soft treats.”

Despite having so much love to give, older pets are among the most overlooked pets in animal shelters around the country. Senior pets often wait longer to find new homes, passed over for puppies, kittens and young adults.

While puppies and kittens are adorable and tempting, there are many benefits to adopting a mature pet.

Here are my top 5 reasons to adopt a senior pet:

What you see is what you get: Older pets have already reached their full size and have an established temperament. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of adopting a new family member and makes it easier to select a companion that fits your lifestyle.

Life experience: Our distinguished furry friends likely have a history of living in a home with years of practicing good manners. One big plus is that most are housebroken. And if your pet doesn’t yet know basic commands, nothing to fear. Old dogs can learn new tricks!

Chill vibes: Older pets tend to be calmer and have less strenuous exercise demands than their younger counterparts. Plus, they are less likely to be destructive, cutting down on the need to constantly monitor them in your home. Your shoes, curtains and carpets will thank you in the long run!

Age is just a number: Like with humans, a dog’s age in years doesn’t necessarily correlate to how they act or feel. Plus, a dog’s lifespan is influenced by several factors, including breed, size and health. Smaller dogs can easily live into their late teens, giving you all the more time to spend with them.

Unconditional love: When you adopt a senior pet, you are truly saving a life of a pet in need. Your new pet will thank you for this second chance at a happy life with lots of love and affection.

If you are over 60 years old, and for some reason you cannot attend the November 12th event, there’s one more benefit I’d like to share. At Pasadena Humane, our Seniors for Seniors program offers you fee-waived adoptions any day for all pets ages 5 and older.

Dogs like Pumpkin King (A505596), a 13-year-old Chihuahua mix or cats like Lucy (A402308), a 6-year-old brown tabby, are free to adopt thanks to the generous support of the Pets for the Elderly Foundation.

Of course, most pets at age 5 (like most humans at age 60!) are hardly over the hill; on the contrary, they’re just hitting their stride, and the Seniors for Seniors program gives an extra boost to the terrific middle-aged cats and dogs, who are sometimes overlooked by shelter visitors.

To view adoptable pets and learn more, please visit

Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane.

This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on November 5, 2022.