SPCA seeks pub­lic as­sis­tance deal­ing with the added costs of se­nior pets

Medicine Hat News - - COMMUNITY-WEST - MO CRANKER [email protected]­hat­news.com Twit­ter: MHNmocranker

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.

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