Feel free to share stats from this current year, any previous years or other data related to % of seniors coming into your organization.
If you have data from numerous years, has the number increased or decreased and why do you think that has happened?
We are a small, breed-specific rescue in northern CA. In 2016 our senior intake was 15% of our dogs. In 2017 it was 17%. So far this year, it's 20%. We are trying to increase our senior intake, as I don't think the senior population we are serving is proportionate to the senior population in need. Our participation in the Strut Your Mutt makes it easier for us to afford seniors (which cost us, on average, about $1000 more per dog than non-senior dogs), but foster home availability is a limiting factor, particularly since senior dogs place a disproportionate burden on foster homes due to their increased time to adoption. We are really working hard to develop a pool of foster homes dedicated to senior dogs, so if anyone has an advice for that, let me know! (I have looked at Muttville's resources.) (Also note: I edited our percentage of senior intake for this year, because I was mistaken before!)
I know this is an older topic, but I was curious so I pulled our shelter's intake numbers and thought people might be interested to see them for a smaller, Northeast, open-admission shelter. Percentage of animals 8+ years at intake:
So far in 2018: Dogs 15%, Cats 9%
2017: Dogs 17%, Cats 9%
2016: Dogs 11%, Cats 9%
2015: Dogs 14%, Cats 9%
2014: Dogs 13%, Cats 8%
So not much of a dramatic change during that time, particularly for the cats. Kittens make up a big portion of our cat intake, so I also calculated the percentage for 2018 excluding kittens under 6 months, which showed 17% of adult cats coming in were seniors.
I tried to look further back, but the data from 2008 was very messy. 2010 was better-entered, and that year we had 7% for senior dogs, and only 2% for senior cats. Unfortunately, I don't have a good way to compare that to years nearby to see if that year was a low-senior-pets fluke, if it is related to data-entry mistakes, or if we really have more than doubled the number of seniors we are taking in the last 8 years.
Thanks so much for sharing this! I'm very curious how this compares with shelter data from other regions. It would help me to better understand if, as a rescue, we are taking in a percentage of seniors proportional to the need in shelters.