Elderly and Sick Pets
From time to time, we’re asked to take in both mature and chronically ill animals.
As with all our intakes, there can be a variety of reasons why they no longer have a family. With elderly and sick pets however, it quite often it boils down to the following:
The owner enters a nursing home or hospital.
The owner dies without leaving pet care provision in the will.
A younger pet arrives on the scene and causes friction. The old one loses out.
The owner cannot or will not pay veterinary fees.
The owner buys an expensive pedigree (often with an expensive genetic disease) but won’t consider pet insurance.
Genuine owners are distraught at having to part with their long term pets and our staff members are regularly affected by their grief. Probably the most distressing aspect of these intakes is when the owner is forced to enter care themselves. They’ve given up their independence, their home and, as is often the case, their only companion too.
While finding another home isn’t impossible, the chances are these animals will need our care for the rest of their lives. We need to treat them differently to our short term ‘guests’ and provide as much comfort and interaction as we can. We must also be aware of setting aside sufficient funding to underwrite their lifetime care and medication.
Dunroamin And The Mews (for our oldies)
For as long as we can remember, we’ve always made a special space for these animals. Even in the early days, we understood their need for extra comforts—armchairs and cushions etc—as well as homely background noises and human company. Staff and regular volunteers provide a surrogate family and gentle exercise is encouraged but not enforced. The cats enjoy daytime free range around the Memorial Garden and all have benefit of fresh air and sunshine.
In all cases, this is provided as required. If a new home is offered but the family income is tight, we will discuss a supported adoption.
Getting an oldie into a loving home is always the best result for the animal and, with space at a premium, there is usually another one waiting in the wings.
Arthritis, obesity and diabetes frequently keeps company with advanced years, so health care is an important part of our commitment to these special pets.