EAST SMITHFIELD Pa. (WETM)– In an effort to clear the shelters, caretakers at the animal care sanctuary are reminding anyone interested in adopting an animal not to overlook our older furry friends.

While the term “older animal” generally signifies around 5 to 8 years, many dogs live up to around 12 or 14, and many cats live into their late teens meaning these animals still have a whole life ahead of them. Another reason why experts are pushing potential caregivers to consider older pets is that normally these animals have already developed the personalities and traits that they are going to have by the later points in their lives.

Also, instead of the many visits to the vet that are necessary for younger puppies and kittens, older animals only require a yearly visit to the vet. Older animals are generally great family pets and gentle with children as they tend to be calmer and understand boundaries.

Some of the older puppies at Animal Care Sanctuary looking for homes include Sallie Mae, about 10 years old, who has been at the shelter for going on 85 days. She is quiet and gentle, but still has energy to play. Bear, the black dog shown, is also around 10 years. He recently came to ACS after being in a nursing home, and he is a friendly and good boy that loves to play fetch.

If you’re interested in adopting either of these animals or looking into more adoption options, you can visit the Animal Care Sanctuary website.