Clear the Shelters: the ‘Senior Dog Stigma’

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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – News 2 is continuing to work to Clear the Shelters and make sure that no dog—or cat is left behind. But when it comes to adopting an elderly dog, it’s a much harder task.

According to Kay Hyman with the Charleston Animal Society, the stigmas of older dogs stems from many not wanting to deal with baggage. She said, ‘they’re afraid that they may have had some issues in their puppy-hood that effect how they are as adults. So some people don’t want to give them that opportunity—they want to kind of train the dog the way they want it.’ 

Another deterrence for many, is their health, or the fear that it will decline soon after an adoption.  

Sometimes they’ll have some medical issues and that makes them harder to adopt as well. But Duke—he’s just a 7-year-old hound that really loves people and you know for no fault of his own he ended up here at the shelter. So we have to go the extra mile for to get those adult dogs adopted.  

Kay Hyman, Charleston Animal Society 

One of the initiatives the Shelter took was applying and obtaining the Fetch Grant from The Grey Muzzle Organization. 

Hyman said with the money granted, they are getting ready to develop a marketing plan with video and static ads for shelters that don’t have a marketing team. This plan will be able to be used throughout the whole state as part of the Charleston Animal Society’s No Kill South Carolina initiative. 

She added that they are here to help other groups and other shelters that don’t have the resources that the society has.  

And with those kill shelters, the older dogs are the first to go—but Hyman said there’s much more too them than just their age.   

You’re able to see their personalities. Older dogs almost always will have been in a home that has started training them in some way—so they very well may be house broken—already exposed to children. So there really are great opportunities with older dogs.  

Kay Hyman, Charleston Animal Society 

Even more, the love that they still have to give.

To see the new COVID-19 precautions for the Charleston Animal Society, click here. 

For all Clear the Shelter locations and specials, click here.  

To stay connected with Cait Przetak, follow her on social media! For Facebook click here, for Twitter click here, and for Instagram click here.

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