SPCA seeks public assistance dealing with the added costs of senior pets
The Medicine Hat SPCA is asking Hatters to help cover costs of senior pets for the 2019 year.
After Save Old Souls closed in 2017, the SPCA started taking in old pets that would have normally gone to Save Old Souls. The extra intake cost the shelter roughly $16,000 last year — money the group doesn’t have sitting around.
“It was a surprise to us when Save Old Souls closed,” said SPCA president Kristina Segall. “When we were going over our costs from last year we noticed that it was about $16,000 — that’s just money we didn’t have ready to spend.
“With our money really tight right now we’ve started a GoFundMe campaign and we’re hoping people can help us out.”
Segall says senior pets can have high veterinary bills when first brought to the shelter. She says the range is $500-2,000 per pet, which is often dental work they need done. Senior pets often need special care from staff and specific food that costs more.
“A lot of them have rotten teeth or need some pulled,” she said. “Just like with humans, that kind of work is very expensive.
“We get a huge break on our vet bills and it’s still very expensive for us — that $500-2,000 could easily be $5,000 for someone else.”
Before the SPCA can adopt out a pet, each one has to be health checked. If a pet has any special needs it has to be communicated with potential adopters.
Cats and small dogs are considered senior pets once they reach their 10th birthday, and large dogs get the status when they turn eight years old. The shelter has adopted out two senior pets since Jan. 1 and is housing three more.
“I would say they are a bit harder to adopt out,” said Segall. “Bubbas just got adopted and he was here for 14 months before that.
“Dogs are usually easier to adopt out than cats but sometimes senior pets can see really long stays here.”
The fundraiser can be found by searching ‘Save a Senior Pet Medicine Hat SPCA.’
SPCA president Kristina Segall holds 10-year-old Yoda Thursday evening at the shelter. The SPCA is hosting an online fundraising campaign for $16,000 to help cover the costs of senior pets it will house this year.