Too Old For A Dog


POSTED: Monday, March 28, 2011 - 9:43am

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - 3:33am

Man says pet adoption agency rejected him because of his age.

An elderly Englewood, Florida man who tried to adopt two chihuahua puppies from an animal rescue facility was told he could not because of his age.

Ward Twining, 81, says he wanted to adopt two 11-month-old chihuahuas from the nonprofit Rescued Hearts animal shelter in Port Charlotte.

The dogs had been neutered and were ready to go home with Twining until the group learned his age.

A Rescued Hearts member says their policy prohibits seniors from adopting younger animals.

Phil Snyder, executive director of the Suncoast Humane Society in Englewood, said many rescue facilities have a policy on not allowing the elderly to adopt puppies or kittens.

Twining said he feels discriminated against because of his age and wonders why organizations would have such a policy with the population in Southwest Florida being mostly senior citizens.

Twining hopes to find a new companion after losing his last chihuahua to cancer.

"I'd love to have a dog but I'm caught up in this now," he said.

Comments News Comments

I volunteer for a rescue in VA, & we have had plenty of Seniors adopting our 'senior' dogs ages 6 & up. Our rescue has the same clause; bring the dog back if you can't care for it any longer. I also agree about finding a good, reputable breeder. Do your research, ask people who've adopted from those breeders & most of all visit the breeder, query them about the dame & sire.

Good grief, what kind of cold-hearted people are they? Thoughtful, caring, compassionate, interested in really good homes for their dogs? I think not. And to think animals shelters are supposed to be all about love . . . Elderly people are great for young dogs, toy breeds especially, with time and attention to give. I agree, Mr Twining should go to a breeder, he'd make a great home for a retired show dog or one that might have been returned for some of those "life happens" reasons. C. Allmann

My wife and I breed dogs in Virginia. We sell to seniors on the same terms as others: There must be a backup plan for care if the owner can't provide it.

Military might deploy. Couples split up. People lose jobs, get transferred 'no pets,' STUFF HAPPENS. Most elderly people are adults (!) and already have some sort of plan 'in case of ...'

The goal of a rescue or a breeder should be happy pets in happy homes. Mr. Twining needs to find another rescue.

Walt Hutchens
Timbreblue Whippets

If he got his new dog from a good breeder, they would simply put it in the contract that the dog(s) come back to the breeder should he be unable to take care of the dog. I sold many dogs to seniors back when I was breeding, and only got one back due to the owner going into a nursing home.

Forget the shelters, get a well bred, healthy dog with a breeder standing behind it!

P Walsh

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