So You Need to Find a Home for a Senior Pet...

Young at Heart's mission is to help senior pets that have found themselves on "death row" at shelters where they will be euthanized because of their age. Young at Heart does not accept senior dogs and cats from the public, other rescues, or no-kill shelters. We receive hundreds of emails everyday from all over the country requesting our help to save senior dogs and cats, but we try to focus on senior pets right here in our own back yard (Chicago and suburbs) and the state of Illinois.The sweet seniors that we rescue have no one else to turn to in their final hour.

So what else can you do to find a new home for your senior pet?

If you need to find a new home for a senior pet, here are some helpful hints:

1. Network your older dog or cat through friends, family, coworkers and within your community through social networking and good old-fashioned word of mouth.
2. Make a nice color flyer of your pet, letting prospective adopters know all about him or her. List likes, dislikes, health issues, etc. The more you share, the more a prospective adopter can figure out if your pet is a good match for them. Make sure the photo of your pet is clear and does not have "flash eyes". A photo of your pet snuggling on the couch, playing with another dog, etc is a good photo. Hang this in places older adopters may hang out - retirement community recreation centers, libraries, coffee shops, churches, temples, etc.
3. Be sure to ask for a small donation to an animal shelter or rescue as an adoption fee. This will help weed out those who are not serious about adding a pet to their family or those who may not have your pet's best interests at heart. 
4. Don't be afraid to ask to talk to their former or current veterinarian for other pets or ask for references to make sure any prospective adopters will care for your pet.

You can also request that we courtesy post your senior dog or cat on our website. The responsibility for screening adopters and finding a good match for your pet is all yours. If you'd like to take advantage of this free service, please send a note to and include photo, description, and contact info. The pet must be 7 years or older, spay/neutered, and in IL.

Shelters and rescues are welcome to take advantage of our courtesy post services as well.

If you are an open-admission shelter or animal control facility in lllinois, you can email us at with a photo of the senior pet needing rescue, temperament test results, health information, and anything else that may help us consider the senior pet in need of rescue if space becomes available.

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