Oldies Club Rehomes Older Dogs Because They’re Just As Perfect To Adopt As Puppies
Small, fluffy, young and impressionable pups are often snapped up at dog adoption centres but unfortunately across the UK there are thousands of older dogs left behind to wait hopefully for their forever homes.
It’s easy to see why people want to take in a young dog; they’re less likely to have been previously trained and more likely to be in your life for longer. However, as a result of these preconceptions people often overlook older dogs without even considering the benefits of adopting one.
Thankfully the charity Oldies Club is here to look out for all the lovely dogs out there who are aged seven or older.
The organisation was founded in 2005, becoming a registered charity in 2007, and as well as advertising its own animals works alongside animal rescue centres around the UK. These centres include Battersea Dogs Home and Dogs Trust, helping publicise their older residents, too.
Since its inception, 951 dogs have been rehomed from Oldies Club, though thousands of dogs listed on the site from other rescue centres have also thankfully found their forever homes.
However, there are still dozens out there just waiting for a loving home.
Oldies Club’s website currently has six of its own dogs listed alongside more than 100 from other rescues; from Collies, Staffies and Shepherds to Retrievers, Spaniels, Bulldogs and everything in between. The charity explained to UNILAD there’s always a huge range of breeds that are given up.
The organisation places its dogs in foster homes, where they are assessed and given all necessary veterinary treatment before being advertised on the website for rehoming.
Sadly, some older dogs can be overlooked because people assume there’s a bad reason for them being given up, for example they were naughty or unmanageable, but often it’s simply a case of their owner being unable to fit them into their lives any more.
Oldies Club told UNILAD a high percentage of pets are given up as a result of the owner moving to somewhere that doesn’t allow furry, four-legged friends. Other common reasons dogs need to be rehomed are because their owner is in poor health, they passed away, or they have to work long hours and feel it’s unfair to leave their pup cooped up.
On its website, Oldies Club adds:
People get ill, families split up, dogs stray and get lost.
What if it was your dog with the arthritic joints and the fading eyesight waiting in a cold kennel day-in, day-out for months on end? Wouldn’t you want someone to take care of him and restore all the home comforts that you allow for him now?
It’s heartbreaking to know simple unfortunate circumstances like these are so often the reason dogs end up in adoption centres, with no family to give them the love they deserve.
The charity points out the ageing process of dogs can accelerate rapidly when the animal is in a stressful environment, and that old bones and joints aren’t designed for cold, concrete floors.
Its adds on the website:
The bustle of day-to-day life in kennels is not always compatible with an old character who just wants to curl up by the fireside, content in the knowledge he is loved and safe.
The tragic reality is that the old dog will spend his last days in kennels, wondering why he is there and not in the arms of a human who loves him.
However, with your help the dogs don’t need to spend their final years alone.
The charity lists its animals according to traits a prospective dog owner might be looking for, for example ‘Small and Cute’, ‘Large and Lovely’, ‘Active Oldies’, ‘Calmer & Quieter’, ‘Good with cats’ and ‘Good with kids’, so no matter what kind of furry friend you’re looking for there’s bound to be one who ticks all the boxes.
Speaking to UNILAD, Oldies Club explained one benefit of adopting a dog aged seven or older is that their personality and characteristics have already fully developed, meaning it’s unlikely there’ll be any unpleasant surprises.
As a result, owners can search for and be matched with their perfect dog through the organisation.
Maybe you want a companion but your own health means you are unable to satisfy the exercise needs of a young dog. Oldies are often quite happy with a potter around the garden and a 20-minute slow-paced stroll around the neighbourhood.
Some oldies are ideal for families/couples who are active, but out for some of the day. These dogs thrive in a lively household with a couple of brisk walks each day and longer walks at weekends, but enjoy the peace and quiet when their owners are at work, and they’re left alone to snooze by the radiator.
Knowing exactly what dog you’re going to be bringing into your life would certainly make it easier to adjust but having a developed personality is far from the only benefit of taking in a good old girl or boy.
As most Oldies will have spent at least some of their life in a home environment, they are generally good at adjusting to the rules and lifestyle that comes with a new home.
They tend to be less problematic than younger dogs who need guidance and training and for this reason they make ideal choices for first-time dog owners, who will be able to fall into step with their new pet as the dogs already know how to do the job.
Naturally, adopting an older dog means accepting they won’t be in your life for as long as you could expect a puppy to be. However, rather than simply focusing on the sad side of that reality, it’s worth noting this means a shorter commitment.
Adopting a dog aged seven or older would work well for people whose circumstances could change in a few years’ time, as the site explains:
Many people could offer a fantastic home to a dog but ‘would like to travel in a few years’ or ‘will go back to work when the kids start school’.
When you take on a pup or a young dog you need to be as sure as you can that you can honour that dog with a home for life, which can be anything up to 18 years or more. With an older dog, the commitment is just as immense, but the time-frame is likely to be shorter.
The charity added in a comment to UNILAD:
Older dogs can be quiet, undemanding companions but they can still adapt to new family and lifestyle. They are great for people who may not be able to make a 15+ year commitment.
As well as considering all the positives an old dog could offer you, one of the best parts about taking in a hound aged seven or older is the knowledge that you’re giving them the comfy, content final years they deserve.
Anne Bell, from Manchester, adopted her dog Bailie from Oldies Club two years ago. The 73-year-old described the charity as ‘ supportive, well organised and caring’.
The dog owner went on to explain why she decided to adopt Bailie, who was 11 years old when she took him in.
I decided to adopt an older dog as they tend to get overlooked for the younger ones and seem to be harder to place. Also older dogs are a bit like older people; they come with wisdom , experience and a lot of love.
It’s very sad that a mature dog finds itself homeless through no fault of its own and just wants a loving home which isn’t much to ask.
It’s very rewarding to us to give an older dog a loving home for the rest of its days. I bless the day I contacted [Oldies Club] as I have such a little treasure.
Even if you only have the lovely addition in your family for a few years, that’s a few years which they would otherwise spend with no real family.
Older dogs deserve to be loved just as much as little pups and Oldies Club is doing everything to ensure they have the chance to spend their last years in a happy home, but it’s really up to the generous potential owners out there.
The Oldies need you!
Take a look at the dogs up for adoption here.
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