Seniors Need Homes Too

By Beacon Staff

Everyone loves a puppy, and a kitten for that matter. But along with those irresistibly cute faces and soft, plumed fur come a few things not all new pet owners are prepared for: sleepless nights, reduced freedom, carpet stains and ruined furniture.

While I would never discourage a hard-core puppy seeker, those simply looking to give a sweet pet a nice home should check out Flathead County Animal Shelter’s Senior Pet Adoption Program. The shelter has six dogs and five cats waiting to find the right family fit.

“We want to highlight them because they’re often overlooked for younger animals,” Cindie Jobe, an employee at the shelter, said. Jobe said when one of their senior pets, a 14-year-old lab named Carline, was paired with a Columbia Falls woman, it brought tears to her eyes.

“She is the sweetest dog, and she’s probably one of the most arthritic dogs you’ll ever see,” she said. “Her front legs are bowed out, yet there’s still a twinkle in her eye.”

Carline found her home through the Animal Shelter’s foster program. Jobe said the sometimes temporary placing is a way to help get the animals out of the shelter environment, which is often stressful for them. The shelter provides medications for the pets while they’re in foster care, until the animals can be placed with a permanent home or rescue group. Whitefish Animal Hospital also provided free medical care for Carline.

Most of the time, the situation is temporary, but older dogs and cats tend to stay with their foster family throughout the rest of their lives.

Jobe added that she hopes to put together a dinner or luncheon in the fall for those participating in the foster care program.

“It’s a way to honor and acknowledge them, and show the appreciation and gratitude we have for these folks who are adopting animals,” she said.

For more information about the Senior Pet Adoption Program, contact Cindie Jobe at 756-0302.

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