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EB SPCA Gives Senior Pets a Second Chance 

The East Bay SPCA has been saving lives since 1874. Over the decades, it has continually evolved to meet the needs of the community. In recent years, the organization has seen more and more senior pets entering the shelter system, and the nonprofit has some new initiatives that will help reach a goal of providing second chances to more senior pets in 2020. 

At the end of 2019, The EB SPCA launched the new Seniors for Seniors adoption program. Through this program, all shelter dogs and cats ages 7 and up have their adoption fees waived for adopters ages 65 and above at both the Oakland and Dublin adoption centers. 

The goal is to help the older pets find new homes while also improving the health and quality of life of senior citizens. Pet ownership provides many benefits and can be especially impactful for senior citizens. Research shows that having a pet can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, decrease risk of strokes, heart attacks, depression, and more. 

The often-quieter home of a senior citizen and the generally calmer, gentler demeanor of a senior pet can be a perfect match for a mature animal in need of a second chance and a senior citizen looking for companionship. The EB SPCA staff members will help adopters select a pet that fits into the adopter’s lifestyle and housing situation.

In addition to thinking of ways to help senior pets get adopted, the EB SPCA also consideres what it can do to help make senior pets as comfortable as possible during their time in the shelter. Laser treatment is a highly effective, non-invasive treatment for pets. The positive effects of laser treatment range from accelerated wound healing post-surgery to the treatment of many ailments, including arthritis and pain reduction. 

Thanks to a matching gift from a generous donor, the EB SPCA will be purchasing a laser for the veterinary clinic. The laser will provide a non-surgical option for helping to alleviate some of the common medical issues senior pets tend to have before becoming available for adoption. 

In addition to helping shelter dogs and cats, laser treatments will also be available to owned pets that are seen at our full-service Theodore B. Travers Family Veterinary Clinic in Oakland, furthering our efforts to provide exceptional, affordable veterinary care to animals in the community. 

If you would like to learn more about these special adoption programs, like Seniors for Seniors, the full-service veterinary clinic, or make a donation to support this lifesaving work, visit online at 

Karalyn Aronow is vice president of operations at the East Bay SPCA. She joined the East Bay SPCA in December 2018 and oversees the adoption centers, behavior and training programs, volunteer services, and the humane education and humane advocacy programs. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Florida State University and also a master’s degree in animal behavior from UC Davis. In her free time, Aronow enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking, and trying the best beers the Bay Area has to offer.

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Main article photo by: Photo by Trevor Hurlbut / Flickr