WPHS Celebrates Senior Pet Month

With striking green eyes, long whiskers and a soft coat, Nico is obviously a good-looking kitty.  But this handsome feline has been waiting for his forever home for almost a month now.  Honestly, we cannot figure out why.  To be fair, Nico did come to us with a vision impairment (he is essentially blind).  But other than that, he is a normal kitty who wants someone to love him, and to love someone in return.

So why is Nico still here?  Our best guess is that it may have something to do with the age on the kennel card that hangs from his cage.  Since Nico was abandoned at the shelter, we had to estimate his age.  After taking a look, our veterinarians estimated this darling boy to be around 10 years old.  While kittens and young cats are quick to be adopted, often our animals in their senior years end up being in a shelter longer than their younger counterparts – simply for their age.

If you did not already know, November is “Adopt a Senior Pet” month.  If you have never thought about adopting an older pet – now is the time!  Nico is just one of the many animals at the WPHS who are in their “golden years.”

Like Sissy…

                                                       …. or Ram

… and Scamp!

With senior pets, there is no guess work that comes with these animals.  What you see is what you get.  The personality, health issues, quirks,  and behavior of each older animal is well documented and understood.  The truth is senior animals are who they are, and you know what you are walking into when you adopt one.  But they are just as loving and in need of a great home as younger animals. You just have to be willing to open your heart. Visit www.wpahumane.org  to see all of our senior pets waiting for their retirement home!


An Update from Two Unexpected Friends!

Chloe  Rooney

In October 2011, I adopted a 6-year old Mini Rex rabbit named Chloe. Chloe was already litter box trained and free roaming, and essentially the perfect pet for a college student with no space. There was just one problem; While rabbits tend to thrive in pairs, Chloe’s bossy nature kept shelter staff from successfully matching her to anyone else. Just one year later, I was able to find the perfect, but quite unlikely, match for my little furball– a Doberman Pinscher.

I found Rooney (then named Ivy) at the Western PA Humane Society last November at about 8 months old. I’d always adored dobermans, but upon my first interaction with the awkward pup, I knew she had to be mine! Within a week or so, this dog (surrendered for being “untrainable”) had settled into our home perfectly. She was already fantastic with potty and leash manners and had mastered about 10 commands. Most important to me, however, was Rooney’s total lack of reaction to cats, birds or small animals we encountered on walks and pet store trips.

I eventually felt comfortable enough to introduce my girls, first through a gate, then with Rooney on leash.  From the day they were allowed free roam together, Rooney and Chloe were great pals. Although I was surprised at how  quickly Rooney gained Chloe’s trust, I was not at all shocked to see all 6 lbs. of Chloe bossing around her new  friend with grunts and nudges. Luckily for us, Rooney responds well to Chloe’s “herding” and respects that the bunny is boss!!

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d have such success introducing a dog to my Chloe, especially so quickly! I certainly don’t believe that there is a more perfect canine match for me and my family. Rooney and I are starting our first round of obedience classes at WPHS in order to earn a therapy dog certification. We hope to not only touch the lives of others through our therapy visits, but also to change negative misconceptions about shelter dogs and the doberman breed as a whole.

Thank you WPHS!

Author: Jamie Rempel

WPHS Matches Senior Pets with Senior Citizens

For years, the Western PA Humane Society has taken steps to reduce loneliness in the senior population through therapy dog visits throughout the region. With millions of animals in shelters nationwide, it would be foolish to ignore the many benefits of pairing these two populations, which are so often overlooked. During Senior Pet Month at WPHS, we are especially dedicated to finding senior pets and senior people the ideal match for one another.

Click here to see WPHS adorable,adoptable Senior Pets!

Anyone who has owned an animal knows the value of their companionship; the same camaraderie absent from the lives of the many senior citizens who suffer from loneliness and depression. When senior adopters are paired with the perfect pet, activities like feeding or grooming gives them a replenished sense of purpose. This obligation to a pet has been known to motivate senior citizens to focus on their own well-being. Petting and playing with an animal, like other pleasurable activities, even increases hormone levels associated with happiness and calm.

 An animal’s presence not only provides company, but actually creates opportunities for their adopters to be social.  People who are normally withdrawn can become sociable when neighbors come to visit their furry friend. Dogs can even be an extra set of eyes and ears for seniors, giving them the sense of security often missed by those living alone.

 Beyond these more apparent perks, science has proven the health benefits of pet ownership, particularly in seniors.  According to the Center for Disease Control, owning a pet can significantly decrease blood pressure along with cholesterol and triglyceride levels, both tied to heart disease. Studies have also shown that an animal’s presence reduces anxiety and stress in their housemates, especially for Alzheimer’s patients.

 Adopting a senior pet eliminates the chance of dealing with the destructive phases of younger animals. Senior pets have already been trained, unlike rambunctious puppies or kittens, who are notorious for chewing, scratching, and having indoor accidents. Although additional training for older animals is not necessary, it can be fun and fulfilling for pet and owner alike.

November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month

Unfortunately, seniors often hesitate to adopt because of doubts that they can properly care for an animal. In reality, senior pets actually require minimal time and energy commitment.  They are happiest in a calm and quiet environment, surrounded by those closest to them. Active seniors are best partnered with an older dog who can enjoy relaxed walks or games of fetch together, while senior cats are perfect for less mobile adopters.

 For each senior citizen is a senior pet waiting for a second chance at being loved.   Regardless of their existing lifestyle, seniors with pets enjoy improved emotional, physical, and mental health. This November, WPHS counselors are especially dedicated to bringing our treasured seniors together to share their loyalty and companionship through their golden years.

by Jamie Rempel

‘Our Best Friends’ Calendar 2012′

Your Best Friend Deserves to be in Pictures!Sponsor a page in the Our Best Friends’ Calendar 2012for all to see!Do you have the cutest canine in Pittsburgh?  What about the most fabulous feline, the most beautiful bird, the most radiant reptile, or the most handsome horse ever to look into a photographer’s camera? 

If so now is your chance to PROVE it to everyone that your pet is a SUPERMODEL and A STAR!


The Western PA Humane Society is offering you a once in a lifetime chance to honor your beloved pet by putting them in the WPHS Our Best Friends’ Calendar 2012.  No longer will you have to tell friends and family how wonderful your pet is … you can show them. Space is Limited.  Once the pages are gone … they are gone for good. Space sells out quickly – sign up today, and we’ll send a professional photographer to your home or favorite spot! Or we can arrange a studio session if you prefer.
Now’s your chance to show off your best friend’s best pose!
Deadline to register is June 30, 2011.

Don’t let your best friend be left out…
Click Here to Sponsor a Page Today!

Not able to participate at this time?
Consider making a donation, purchasing a Calendar or attending the Calendar Preview Event –
Click Here!