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Pet adoption programs designed to match older adults with aging cats and dogs are springing up across the country, providing care for the critters as well as companionship for their humans.
Many shelters and rescue organizations discount or waive adoption fees for older adults looking to adopt pets age 7 and up. Some will cover medical expenses such as vaccinations, dental work and surgeries for the pets, according to Next Avenue, a website for adults 50 and older.
The elder dogs make a good match because they are usually house-trained and don’t need as much walking as younger pets.
A case in point: Barbara Castleman of Albuquerque, N.M., adopted a purebred toy Australian shepherd from a shelter a decade ago for a discounted fee of $30 because she was over 50 and the dog was 10. The shelter veterinarian also provided a free dental exam. “Imagine, for what we’d spend on lunch out, we’ve gotten years of unconditional love and companionship,” Castleman told Next Avenue.