Maddie's Pet Project

Older Pets Give and Need Love

Aging pets have a lot of love to give
by Bonney Brown

Bonney Brown

When I first noticed Mogli, I was not looking for a cat to adopt, but I was drawn to this happy gentleman with his old battle scars. Mogli, it seems, spent most of his 10 years on the streets of Sparks, but most older dogs and cats arrive at a shelter after years of a comfortable life with a person they loved. The reasons vary, but often they are there because their person has either passed away or can no longer care for them.

Mogli’s introduction to my home and other pets was the easiest ever. He was calm, well-mannered and affectionate. When you adopt a mature cat or dog, you have a pretty good idea of their personality. Kittens and puppies have a lot of growing to do and a lot to learn. They may develop into an adult that is very different from what you expected.

While mature pets may have known a loving home and the pain of losing it, unlike humans, they do not dwell on the misfortunes of the past. Dogs and cats live in the moment and they appreciate and quickly grow to love their newfound human family.

In spite of the many benefits of older pets, they are often overlooked for adoption. That’s a shame, not only because many pets can live well into their teens (cats can live to be more than 20 years old), but because older pets still have a lot of love to give.

It’s not every day you can make a dream come true, but when you adopt a senior pet, you’ll experience that heartwarming, fulfilling experience yourself. There are many mature cats and dogs who are waiting in a local shelter for someone just like you. Don’t miss out!

Bonney Brown is co-executive director of Maddie's Pet Project in Nevada. She lives in Reno. Reach her at

CAPTION: Bonney Brown

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