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Worcester Animal Rescue League’s Seniors for Seniors Program

Matching seniors with their new best friends!

By Shelly Aucoin

The Worcester Animal Rescue League (WARL) has been operating a wonderful program for six years now called “Seniors for Seniors;” its mission is to match senior aged animals with senior citizens. “Senior citizens that are looking for a pet often want a calm, already housebroken, well-mannered pet, and what better than a senior pet!” explains Allie Simone, Executive Director of the WARL. image002-copy

The older pets prove more challenging to find homes for and often have a much longer length of stay than the younger ones. This creative solution has been very successful in helping many animals. “Last year we helped over 50 pets that were seven years of age and older. That isn’t a large number, but it seems like more because their length of stay is doubled. On average, a senior pet will stay at the shelter for 4 months before adopted,” says Simone.

Some dogs stay for a year or more before finding their forever home. One exceptional example is Corina, an 11 year old pit bull was found as a stray in October of 2010. Since she has been living at the shelter, they’ve taken in and found homes for 274 dogs and 394 cats. That’s over 600 animals that have come and gone while Corina’s been image001-1-copythere. “She loves to be around people and howls in the kennel when she gets lonely. She gets along very well with other dogs; all she wants is a home to relax in. Corina will wait, and so will we, for the right person to adopt her,” says Allie with a smile.

The pets come from a variety of channels every month and with varying levels of need. Some are surrendered by owners than can no longer care for them; others are strays that may have been on their own for a while. Still others come from rescue groups and shelters that need help placing the pets. “So many times, owners think their older pets that have gone stray ‘go off to die,’ which is a myth,” says Allie, “Just like humans, pets can go deaf and blind, and can get distracted and disoriented. Always check with an animal shelter, animal control officer, and local animal hospitals because they may have your pet!”

The WARL has reduced the adoption fee for their senior animals. Any cat over 7 years of age is $50, and dogs over 7 are $100. The adoption fee is waived for any senior citizen over the age of 65. All of the animals are spayed or neutered, given core vaccines, and tested and treated for parasites. All candidates must complete the application process prior to qualifying.

If you’re looking for companionship, please consider the WARL’s adoption program. These animals are looking for love, just like you.

Worcester Animal Rescue League
139 Holden St., Worcester, MA 01606

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