All About Animals
The magazine for animal lovers.
Introducing Animals Magazine
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Rehoming a pet in retirement

When it comes to pet ownership, there are a number of proven health benefits for older people. For instance, walking the dog gives you a reason to exercise, improving your mental and physical health, and at the same time brings you into contact with other people and can often result in making new friends on ‘dog walks'. Many people think getting a rescue dog will be more difficult than starting from scratch with a puppy. However, with the right care and patience from new owners a vast number of rescued dogs can be transformed into great companions.

There are thousands of animals every year abandoned and homeless and finding new homes for them all is a major problem. If the thought if owning a dog is not for you, perhaps you would be more suitable to a cat. Particularly those who have suffered bereavement or illness or who simply want a presence to welcome them home could benefit from giving a rescue cat a loving forever home. Healthy cats can live on into their twenties but some can have conditions that require a slower pace of life or have special needs which mean they have to remain indoors, therefore they can benefit greatly from having company around the house during the day with older owners, rather than a noisy family life.

All animals have a few basic needs, but rather than seem a burden, they can be a pleasurable responsibility if the benefits are welcomed by the owner. Isolation can sometimes be a problem for older people, often not seeing friends or family for several weeks, which also underlines how important the companion of a dog or cat or other pet can be.

Wood Green, The Animals Charity know that rescuing a dog is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Giving a dog that second chance of a loving home that they deserve, whilst also gaining a new best friend who will bring lots of love to your home.

That's why Wood Green, The Animals Charity vow to bring pets and people together and will provide support and advice to ensure the benefits of the relationship are mutual for both pets and owners. Whether you're considering having a pet in the future and need guidance on pet choice, or you already have a pet and need some general advice or intense support, Wood Green, The Animals Charity has a dedicated service to help all pet owners with any questions they may have about pets.

If looking for a pet, Wood Green carefully match every pet looking for a new home with the personalities and lifestyles of owners. They help and guide you through the homing process with knowledge of each pet's individual lifestyle needs, any training needs and any medical issues he or she may have - a pet they've taken the time to know.

The support doesn't end there. Wood Green's dedicated teams are there to listen and give you the help you need. From behaviour tips to health and wellbeing advice, coping with a new puppy, to advice about preparing a pet if you're about to move home, Wood Green has years of experience and will be there throughout your pet's life, and beyond. Their experts continuously help pet owners and their pets to live in harmony and get the best out of life.

Pet ownership is uncomplicated while older people are still fit and well living in their own homes. However, a worrying concern for many pet owners is, who would look after their pet if they had to move into residential care or if a nursing home had to be considered, or if the pet was to outlive them. This is something animal charities are well aware of, such as The National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT), a rescue and rehoming charity operating across the south of England. NAWT provide food, warmth and veterinary treatment to those animals in need of care, prior to finding them their forever home - however long it takes. Pet Care Card is a free service that NAWT offers, guaranteeing peace of mind, knowing that the pet's future will be a safe and happy one. If it is the wish that the pet be looked after by the charity, then suggested wording can be provided for use in any Will.

Sometimes through no fault of their own some cats prove extremely difficult to re home. There are many reasons behind this, they may be feral and unused to human touch, a medical condition may be an issue or simply their temperament may make them unsuitable pets. This is where a very special animal sanctuary Catastrophes run by Liz Varney in Sussex comes into its own. As Liz puts it 'we take the cats the other charities can't rehome'. They live out their days in a home environment in the peaceful Sussex countryside at Half Moon Cottage. Liz believes every cat deserves a chance to have a peaceful place to live and enjoy their lives. The cats blossom under the sanctuary's love and care and Liz sees many behavioural transformations.

Funds are always needed and sponsorship programmes are in place. If owning a pet is impossible for whatever reason then what better way to still be involved in the lives of animals.

Case Study

The story of Marvellous Max

Pictured above is Max, happy in his new home with his loving, responsible new owners.

Max is a 9-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who came to National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) five years ago when his owners could no longer care for him. During his stay, Max suffered from severe discomfort to his right eye, which eventually had to be removed. Sadly, older bull terrier types often take that bit longer to rehome, and becoming partially blind only added to Max's struggle to find a place in the heart of someone who could offer him a home. At NAWT, we'll never give up on a healthy animal, we'll never stop caring and they will have a place in our care for as long as it takes. Thankfully, Max's happily ever after came in early 2017, in the form of Julie.

A full-time carer to her wheelchair bound father, who suffers from dementia, Julie heard about Max from a long-term volunteer. She spent weeks visiting Max and building a strong bond with him, often bringing her father along with her to ensure they also formed a relationship. Eventually, on her birthday, the time was right for Julie to take Max home. It was an emotional day for all the staff at NAWT as we waved goodbye to a dog who held a special place in all of our hearts.

Julie got in touch after taking Max home to say:

“Max makes such a difference to all our lives. He gives my Dad something to look forward to and Max seems to sense that he's physically not able to do as much.

"As a full time carer working in the home, Max offers me the chance to get out and about when my twin sister takes over the care of my dad. He's settling in so well."

For further information:
Wood Green, The Animals CharityTel. 0300 30393333
National Animal Welfare Trust Tel. 020 8950 0177
Catastrophes Cat Rescue Tel. 01435 830212


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