Surprising Reasons Elderly Pups Have Trouble Getting Adopted

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

May 2, 2014

Hey everyone! Susie the dog here!


Image via Susie’s Senior Dogs Facebook Page

As you might know, I’m using my senior doggy voice to help spread the word about senior dog adoptions. When looking for a home, it can be very hard for an older dog to compete with the younger pups at a shelter. Everyone just loves puppies, but us older dogs are cute, too! And we have so much love to give.

On top of age, there are a few factors that can work against a senior dog that you might not know about. So, if you’re a senior dog with one of these “problems” listed below, well then, your odds of getting are adopted almost nonexistent. But, that can change! Awareness is everything. So the next time you’re looking to adopt, consider a senior. Be sure to tell your friends about us, too. We promise we’ll be on our best behavior!

Below are some of my senior buddies who are looking for their furever soulmate. They are just the best!

Lots of senior love,

1. Black Dog Syndrome
The number of black dogs in shelters is higher than any other fur color. Black dogs are more often overlooked and left behind, and, thus, euthanized. The problem is often the unwarranted misconception that black dogs are more aggressive; also, they simply don’t photograph as well in their adoption photos as their friends with lighter fur. The trickiest part is that black dogs are most likely overlooked subconsciously by adopters; one might not even realize they are doing it. So if you’re an old, black dog, you’re going to really need some luck on your side.

Take a peek at these black beauties…they’re as special as black diamonds!


Coco: 10-year-old border/collie mix, Seattle, WA – Seattle Humane, [email protected] or call (425)-649-7563.


Oscar: 9-year-old Chihuahua/terrier mix, Houston, TX – Scout’s Honor Rescue, [email protected]

2. Pit Bulls…and Chihuahuas??
Visit any shelter and you’ll notice the staggering number of pit bulls sweetly staring back up at you. You’re probably already familiar with the discrimination this breed deals with, often unjustly assumed to be a bully. The good news is there are many pawesome pit bulls out there fighting this cause for their fellow pit bulls, like Fifty the two legged pit bull! On top of dealing with pit bull discrimination, being an elderly pit bull makes it even harder to find their furever home.

But did you know chihuahuas and chihuahua mixes are up there with pit bulls as a breed most often found at shelters? It’s true! I’m a chihuahua mix, and it breaks my heart to think of other little chihuahuas scared and alone at in shelter. We chihuahuas get very attached to our human; a little elderly chihuahua would practically run into your arms! (Well, in their heart they would. chihuahuas are timid and take time to trust humans, but once they do, they’ll never leave your side. Especially a senior chihuahua.)


Missy: 9-year-old pit bull mix, Portland, OR – Clatsop Animal Assistance, [email protected] or call (503)-861-0737.


Sabrina: 10-year-old chihuahua/min pin mix, Minneapolois, MN – All Dog Rescue [email protected] or (612)-871-1204.

3. Bonded Animals
Animals have best friends, too, and some of us need our friends more than others. If they’re separated, they tend to feel hurt and can get very sad. We know it’s pretty hard to get adopted in general, and it’s even harder to get adopted when you’re old. But it’s almost impossible to get adopted if you need to find a home as a bonded pair of old dogs.

Binger and Moxie: 13 and 11-year-old labrador/retriever mix, New Cumberland, WV – Hancock County Animal Shelter, [email protected] or call (304)-387-4102.


Kali and Buddy: 9 and 8-year-old beagles, Novato, CA – Marin Humane Society, [email protected] or call (415)-506-6225.


Queenie and Duchess, 7 and 5-years-old, Salt Lake City, UT – CAWS Animal Rescue, [email protected] or call (801)-328-4731.

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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

May 2, 2014

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