The pros of adopting an older pet

The BC SPCA is set to adopt its one-millionth animal this month. To commemorate the event, we’re profiling some of the adopters and adoptees.

November 10, 2015

By Kristina Matisic

Scott Landsiedel’s shift work at a Vancouver firehouse meant that his wife, Brigitte, spent many hours home alone. To keep her company, Scott decided it was time to adopt a cat from the BC SCPA. But instead of choosing a kitten or younger cat, he wanted to find a senior, one that perhaps would not have a chance of finding a forever home.

After visiting the shelter herself (the BC SPCA wants to meet all members of the family before adoption), Brigitte was quickly smitten with 10-year-old tabby Roscoe. “He was a charming, chubby guy and we couldn’t say no,” she says.

The couple lives in a condo, another reason adopting a senior seemed like the right choice. Roscoe was already litter-box-trained, mild-mannered, and well-adjusted.

“It was a really huge thing having him in the house. He added this whole element of warmth and friendliness. And he was so sweet to everyone who came over,” Brigitte says.

Already struggling with health issues prior to his adoption, all too soon it became apparent that Roscoe was also facing congenital heart failure. Due to his advanced aged and despite treatment (including visits to the cat cardiologist) not much could be done. He died January 2015, just three years after he found his new home.

“It was pretty tough on both of us. My husband actually ended up getting a commemorative tattoo of him because he loved him so much,” Brigitte says.

The couple recently adopted another senior cat, Ember, who had been languishing at the shelter for three months. While some pet adopters may find the prospect of adopting an older animal potentially heartbreaking, the Landsiedels seem to be made of sterner stuff.

“Give an old guy a chance, you never know,” Brigitte says. “We don’t regret choosing ours for a minute despite knowing it’s a shorter period we’ll have with them. The marks they make on your heart—they’re so sweet, these little pets. It’s nice giving them a second chance.”

If you’re #oneinamillion who have adopted an animal from the BC SPCA over the past 60 years, you’re invited to post a photo to their Facebook page.

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