Petbarn donation helping senior pets — like 11-year-old Mr Po — find their home

Mr Po is a gorgeous 11-year-old cat who, after being brought into the Coffs Harbour RSPCA, is now looking for his forever home. It’s senior pets like him that will benefit thanks to a generous donation from the Petbarn Foundation.

The valuable $100,000 donation, given specifically for the support of older pets in RSPCA shelters, comes directly from generous members of the Petbarn customer community and will make a huge difference to the lives of senior animals at RSPCA shelters.

Thanks to the donation, RSPCA shelters can continue to offer subsidised adoptions for senior pets, because sadly older animals often wait longer to be adopted. They may also require more veterinary care due to their age, and this generous donation will also help cover those costs.

Puss in Boots is another such story. Sadly after being brought into RSPCA Victoria, in addition to routine vaccinations, worming, and flea treatment, he wasn’t well and needed a lot of TLC. Even once his health had improved, it wasn’t all smooth sailing — but he eventually found his forever home.

Puss in Boots has finally found his new home with Julie, where he’s settled in beautifully and loves cuddles on the couch, running up and down the hallway and playing hide and seek!

Manager of the Petbarn Foundation Janelle Bloxsom said, “We believe all animals deserve a loving home, no matter how old they are. In 2012 Petbarn removed the sale of all puppies, dog, kittens and cats from our stores and instead established an partnership with the RSPCA and other animal rescues to support adoptions. Since then we have proudly rehomed 58,000 pets through our 153 Petbarn in-store adoption centres.

“Our rescue partners report that one of the main reasons senior pets are surrendered is because their elderly owners have either passed or have moved to a nursing home where they can no longer be together.

“We know how deeply the bond can be between pets and their parents, to think about an older animal being moved from a loving home at this late stage in life is incredibly sad. We hope the $100,000 donation from the Petbarn Foundation will support the RSPCA in the wonderful work they do caring for senior pets during this transition.”

RSPCA Australia CEO Richard Mussell said across the country, the RSPCA cares for nearly 2,000 senior animals every year, so Petbarn’s donation will touch the lives of literally thousands of animals.

“It’s generally easier to find a new family for a puppy or kitten,” said Mr Mussell. “But our shelters often have plenty of sweetly tempered, beautifully behaved, healthy and active adult and older animals, there through no fault of their own. That’s why this donation will help us continue to subsidise adoption costs for these senior pets, who are often passed over for younger animals.

“It can cost us a lot of money to get any animal ready for adoption. This can include providing vet checks, behaviour checks and rehabilitation when required, blood tests, parasite and other vital treatments, surgeries, vaccinations, foster care and transport.

“Sadly, older animals can require quite a bit of veterinary attention due to some common health issues, such as dental disease, arthritis, and heart disease. We also know that they often wait longer to be adopted, and in general might just require a bit more ‘TLC’.”

Mr Mussell said that an older pet can make a great companion, and encouraged everyone to think about whether a senior animal might be right for them.

“If you’re thinking of adopting, we encourage you to think about what sort of pet would be the best fit for their household, and whether a senior pet might be the answer.

“Older pets are usually calmer and already well-adjusted to family life. And while adult and older pets still love to play and need plenty of exercise, they often take life at a slower pace than puppies and kittens — which might be a better fit for you and your family!

“When you adopt an older animal — especially one that has been assessed by the RSPCA — there are generally fewer surprises. In addition to already knowing what the adult will look like (such as their size and the length of their coat) and what their personality is, any inherent health issues are likely to already be apparent.

“From all of us at the RSPCA, we say a big thank you to the Petbarn Foundation and to the generous members of the community who have made this donation possible.”