The COVID-19 pandemic sparked a 250% increase in global searches for pet adoption, and 23 million American households adopted a so-called “pandemic pet.”
Shelters have reported a surge of homeless animals in 2022, which is thought to result from owners returning to work and shirking responsibility.
Mature Dogs are in Dire Need
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 3.1 million dogs enter animal shelters in the U.S per year.
Around 390 thousand dogs are euthanized in shelters that don’t have the room or staffing to care for them.
Dogs that have been at shelters the longest usually get euthanized first, a considerable percentage of which are elderly or mature dogs.
Mature dogs get overlooked because people perceive them as less novel, or carrying emotional baggage. They may not exhibit their personalities as readily as younger dogs and are thus picked less frequently.
People are attracted to new and shiny things by nature, but older dogs possess many favorable qualities for those willing to see them.
It takes an emotional and physical toll for a dog to know their pack has left them. This huge void in their evolutionary needs propels them to be more appreciative and willing to please new owners.