Why an adult or senior animal might be your ideal pet

Most people don’t move to China or Shenzhen with the intention of falling for something furry and four-legged. But the number of adoptive animal parents here hint that there is a great need – both for the humans and the animals involved – for pets in expat circles.

Although life abroad is full of uncertainties, many find that raising a furkid of their own is a part of life that they do not want to put on-hold.

In the same vein, potential pet owners will consider whether their lifestyle suits an animal’s needs. For singles, internationals or migrants, and/or individuals who are perhaps early in their careers (and putting in long hours at the workplace), this is especially important.

The played-up pet-buying model involves a date to the pet store and getting covered in puppy breath and wagging tails. But taking in an adult animal can make for a deeply meaningful adoption story, as well as one that makes more sense for many people's capacities.

Adult animals know the drill, in many cases. This can relieve the stress of adjusting to the force of nature that a puppy or kitten can often be.

Many adult animals are already accustomed to living alongside humans. They likely know where to use the restroom, whose food is whose, and whether they’re interacting with a grown versus infant person. And, depending on their personality, they may be sensitive to their humans’ cues on when to be playful, when to be calm, when it’s okay to vocalize and when it’s time for cuddles. This is because many adult and senior animals who are up for adoption had an owner before but were abandoned (as in on of the cases below).

Their energy levels may be better suited for you. Animals who’ve grown past puppy/kittenhood, especially senior animals, will require less exercise to maintain healthy levels of physical activity, which may be more ideal for busy urbanites who, while having much capacity for companionship, may not have energy for prolonged bouts of fetch.

Their lifespan may better match your timeline. Adopting an animal from puppy/kittenhood, no matter in China or back in your home country, will be a ten-plus-year commitment. Becoming a home to an adult or senior animal, one can expect to be taking on a shorter-term commitment.

They need you more. Puppies and kittens do not struggle to find homes. But a previously-owned adult animal is in an extremely vulnerable position and at-risk of never being rehomed, which may mean a future of isolation, becoming deformed from cage living, or euthanasia.

Garfield the cat & Cindy the dog

Garfield, a long-haired domestic breed cat, was found living alone in an abandoned office space adjacent to the Shenzhen MMUN branch in the Shangmeilin area. He’s been there, basically isolated besides someone stopping by to feed him (presumably a previous owner), for around 3 months. After finally making contact with the person who leaves food for him, it was discovered that Garfield’s previous family has removed him from their home with the intention to rehome him after the wife of the household got pregnant. Now after years with a family, he is spending his days and nights alone, indefinitely, until someone steps up to be his real forever home. Garfield is 7 or 8 years old.

According to Jesus, an instructor at MMUN Shenzhen who is now helping to rehome Garfield, Garfield is extremely sociable, always coming up to the glass wall to interact with MMUN staff when they walk past the empty office in which he lives.

Cindy is a 4 year old small breed dog who was found with a puppy (presumably her daughter) on the streets of Shekou. Nothing is known about their backgrounds. Over 10,000rmb has been gone towards restoring the pair back to health, getting them all needed shots and spaying them. The puppy has been rehomed but Cindy is still looking for one. She is easy-going and prefers the indoors to the public, making her the perfect homedog.

To meet Garfield, please scan the QR Code above, or to meet Cindy, please scan the QR code below:


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30 May 2018

By Pamela

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