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PetSmart Charities is encouraging those looking for a new best friend to consider senior pets. During November’s National Adoption Week (Nov. 8–14) and throughout the year, PetSmart stores across the U.S. open their doors to local animal welfare organizations to help people make perfect matches, said company officials.

Senior animals often spend the longest time at shelters and in many cases are deemed unadoptable. Many potential adopters are hesitant to take home an older pet, believing that the pet has been surrendered due to behavioral issues. In many instances, senior pets were companions of elderly people who died or had to move to an assisted living facility that would not allow pets. Similarly, economic hardships or lifestyle changes may force a family to relinquish a beloved pet.

“More than half of American households have pets, which is good news,” said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities. “But there are still more than five million pets that enter shelters each year in need of loving homes. Puppies and kittens are cute—but require a lot of care and attention. Senior pets have so much love to give, and their calm, gentle demeanors make them ideal matches for many households. National Adoption Week is the perfect time to head to a local PetSmart store and meet some older pets. Your carpets and furniture will thank you, too.”

Each National Adoption Week, PetSmart Charities invites thousands of local Animal Welfare Organizations to bring adoptable pets into PetSmart stores across the country, giving so many loveable animals the best chances of finding new homes. Since 1994, more than 9.7 million pets have been adopted through PetSmart Charities.