Spread the Love for Golden Oldies

Why you should consider fostering a senior animal for the Gulf Coast Humane Society

By: Kaitlin Calk

Sept. 9, 2015, was an inexpressibly sad day for all of the staff and volunteers at the Gulf Coast Humane Society (GCHS). We lost an incredibly sweet old soul. Old Yeller, who had been a resident of GCHS for more than four years, passed away. He loved tennis balls and any sort of treat that was given to him, and you could nearly always see him stretched out on his back in his kennel, just letting it all hang out. He would bark for no reason, and the smell of grass or the gentle pat of a human’s hand would always get his tail to wag.

It is a tragedy to us (and to many of you reading this, we are sure) that he passed away not in the comfort of a forever home, but in an animal shelter. He was shown tons of love by our staff and volunteers on a daily basis, but nothing could ever beat the feeling of wholeness and love that a forever home brings.

We believe that all domesticated animals deserve a home to call their own, but it is especially heart wrenching for us to see a senior dog or cat looking at us through those bars. These animals have lived a long life, and they may have even known the joy of a home before. A shelter environment is stressful for any animal, but that stress is increased tenfold for older animals with calm dispositions and the aches and pains that come with advanced age.

If you have or have had a senior animal at home, you are well aware of the special place they hold in your heart. They may pass gas quite often and get a bit grumpy when younger pups or kittens jump all over them, but all they really want is a warm place to snuggle up with their human and to go for leisurely walks in the sun. Despite the fact that these wonderful creatures have such wonderful dispositions and so little demands, many of them end up in shelters like GCHS, with stiff joints and cataracts, wondering if they will ever know the comfort of a couch cushion again.

On behalf of Old Yeller and all of the other furry old souls out there, we implore you to consider becoming a foster for senior animals. When you foster for GCHS, we cover all costs of care. We provide you with all supplies and food, and all veterinary care is done at our facility at no cost to the foster parent. All that we ask our foster parents to provide is a loving, stable home in which these wonderful animals can live out their golden years in peace.

Rest easy, Old Yeller. You are loved dearly by all of GCHS – staff, volunteer and board member alike. Run freely and without pain on the Rainbow Bridge.

To become a treasured member of our foster program, please visit www.gchscc.org and fill out an application. And please email completed applications and any questions you may have to outreach.manager@gchscc.org.

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