PAWS Magazine

Issue 59, Winter 2004

Welcome Home, Old Friend


People have always been suckers for baby animals. At PAWS, potential adopters race to the puppies and kittens to be the first ones to claim them.

But it seems that our fondness for babies has blinded us to the realities of living with them. In their world, the sofa is to chew on, playtime could be at 3:00 PM or 3:00 AM, and anything within reach is a toy. Raising a baby requires tremendous amounts of time, patience, and energy—limited commodities for most of us.

These are the reasons PAWS often recommends grown animals to potential adopters. Once the benefits of adopting a full-grown dog or cat are learned, they can effectively cool baby fever. For starters, what you see is what you get. If you take home an adult cat, for example, you’ll know right away if he prefers a lap or a window seat, and you won’t have to worry about your dog growing into huge paws.

Second, one of the most desirable attributes of older animals is the high probability they are already housetrained or will only need a quick refresher training. They are able to "hold it" longer than undeveloped young animals and your carpets remain clean and stain free.

Other advantages of grown animals include:

  • They are usually past the stage of becoming overly excited, making it easier to gauge their temperament around other animals and people.
  • Because of their longer attention spans, they are often easier to train.
  • An adult animal introduced into a home with other animals will find his or her place in the household more quickly.
  • With proper nutrition and a safe environment, animals can live 15 to 20 years—plenty of time to share years of love and companionship.

More often than not, adult animals are well-adjusted, healthy animals who are at PAWS for various reasons. Maybe they wandered from home and no one came to look for them. Perhaps they were left behind when the family moved or a human baby arrived. Whatever the reason, why not experience the joys of bonding with an adult dog or cat? You’ll be glad you did.


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