The ASPCA estimates 6.5 million pets enter shelters across the U.S. each year.
Officials at the Chemung County SPCA said some animals spend more time in shelters than others.
“We have a handful of adult and senior animals that are waiting for forever homes that are just as deserving as a puppy or kitten,” Community Engagement Manager Arynn Brucie said.
One way the Chemung County SPCA is working to combat the issue is with a program called ‘Seniors for Seniors,’ which pairs senior animals with senior citizens.
“Usually they’re a match made in heaven, you know we get the senior animals that leave with a senior person and it’s perfect,” Brucie said. “So we really try to market that program as much as we can and get the word out about it because it really is a special thing.”
Aside from age, Brucie said even coat color can have an effect on whether or not an animal is adopted.
“Specifically black dogs or cats tend to stay in the shelter a little longer just because they don’t have any unique markings, nothing that stands out to the average adopter,” she said. “But a lot of times they’re the nicest ones.”
As for those who believe adopting an adult animal may mean surprises down the line, Brucie said that misconception couldn’t be further from the truth.
“What people don’t think about is that you can kind of custom order them,” she said. “So they know ahead of time whether or not they like other cats or are good with kids, their temperament. Whereas with a puppy or kitten you kind of have to train that animal to what fits best in your lifestyle.”
If you already have a house full but still want to help you can make a monetary donation to help offset lost revenue from waived adoption fees.