Increasingly, as shelters focus on increasing live release rates, and in the context of effective population management in some areas, we are faced with difficult decision-making for geriatric animals. These animals are less able to adapt to stressful conditions in the shelter setting, more vulnerable to infectious diseases, more likely to have chronic conditions and co-morbidities, and more difficult to adopt. Creative and humane strategies for managing geriatric animals include keeping them with their families, foster care, palliative care programs, adopter education, special adoption rates, and adoption promotions. Management of medical conditions can utilize a spectrum of care approaches to decrease resource utilization.
Quality of life considerations are paramount and must be included in decision-making. This panel discussion will address how different shelters approach decision-making for geriatric animals. Areas covered will be surrender diversion, initial decision-making, monitoring, resource utilization, adaptability, special programs, trusting your adopters, and special adoption tips.
Shelter Medicine & Animal Care: caring for the smallest and the sickest