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CenTex Humane Society
“Second Chance”
No-Kill Animal Shelter

5501 Clear Creek Rd., Killeen, TX 76549

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 (254) 526-6200

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OlderDogs 

  Monday-Friday Noon to 5pm • Saturday & Sunday 11am-5pm

Excerpt from The Killeen Daily Herald
June 19, 2005

By Erin Steele
Killeen Daily Herald

A 14-year-old chihuahua mix peers out at Officer Albert Musgrove from his cage in the Killeen Animal Control Shelter.
The officer bends down, and the dog eagerly tries to lick his fingers as Musgrove pats its head.
"It's a real nice dog," Musgrove said. "We found it abandoned in a hotel room. But when people come in here, they don't want the older dogs. They say, 'Oh, isn't that puppy so cute, I want a puppy.'"
Musgrove has initiated the "Senior Dogs Project" at the shelter, which gives people a list of 10 reasons as to why they should adopt older pets. From dogs to cats to hedgehogs and rabbits, the shelter houses numerous older animals, all looking for a home.
"Everybody comes in and wants puppies or kittens. They want to train them," Musgrove said. "Then six months later, they end up bringing the animal back because it chewed up something, it's not housebroken — or they're not as good of a trainer as they thought.
There are a variety of benefits to adopting an older pet, Musgrove said. He adopted four older dogs of his own, the oldest of which is 14. The others are 13, 9 and 7 years old.
"They're housebroken, they're no longer teething and they're not as active as puppies," Musgrove said. "Plus, they know what 'no' means."
Some older pets may have medical problems younger animals do not, Musgrove said. In addition, they may not be the best pet to own for those who have toddlers.
"Older animals may have had a bad experience with younger kids," Musgrove said. "If you have a toddler, you may have to be a little more watchful. They don't want their ears pulled or they may have arthritis and don't fell like playing."
Still, Musgrove said, older animals are a blessing for people of almost any age group.
"Most people come in and say they're getting an animal for their kid, but when the newness wears off, it becomes theirs," he said. "So you're going to want an animal that isn't overly active. You'll want one that will lay at your foot or sit by you on the couch."
Ginger Smith-Holmes, who works at the Second Chance Animal Shelter in Killeen, said it can sometimes be a challenge to convince people to adopt older animals.
"It's the ones that are 9 and older that are hard to adopt out," Smith-Holmes said. "The comment I always hear is, 'I don't want to adopt something that is going to die.' I always tell them there's no guarantee on life, whether you adopt something old or young."
The shelter has about eight older dogs, Smith Holmes said, including 14-year-old Midnight, 11-year-old Lady, 12-year-old Mocha Sue and 12- year-old Misty Blue, as well as 9-year-old Harry.
They also have six older cats, including 15-year-old Smoky, 9-year- old Pumpking and 9-year-old Sadie.
"I've had people come back and say that they loved having an older dog or older cat in their lives," Smith-Holmes said. "They gave them so much attention and they loved it. I just love that, it's so great."
For more information on animals available for adoption, call Killeen Animal Control Shelter at 526-4455 or Second Chance at 526-6200.

THE SENIOR DOGS PROJECT

"Looking out for older dogs"

10 good reasons to adopt an older dog

  1. Older dogs are housetrained
  2. Older dogs are not teething puppies and won't chew your shoes and furniture while growing up.
  3. Older dogs can focus better because they are more mellow. Therefore, they learn more quickly than puppies
  4. Older dogs have learned what "no" means.
  5. Older dogs settle in more easily, because they've learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of the pack.
  6. Older dogs are good at giving love, once they get into their new, loving home. They are grateful for the second chance they've been given.
  7. What you see is what you get: Unlike puppies, older dogs have grown into their shape and personality. Puppies can grow up to be quite different from what they seemed at first.
  8. Older dogs are instant companions. — ready for biking, car trips and other things that their owners like to do.
  9. Older dogs leave you time for yourself, because they don't make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.
  10. Older dogs let you get a good night's sleep because they're accustomed to human schedules and don't need nighttime feedings, comforting or bathroom breaks.

 

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