Man Too Old To Adopt Puppies

There's no better way to make a man feel like an unperson than to tell him he can't adopt a puppy because he's too old and might die. Yet this is what some hapless receptionist at the Rescued Hearts animal shelter had to tell an 81-year-old by the name of Ward Twining.

This titbit comes thanks to Stephanie Liebergen of NBC Action News (what's "action" news?), reporting from Englewood, on Florida's barbarous other coast, where apparently folks don't know that pets are great for seniors.

They keep seniors busily cognating, relieve loneliness, stave off depression, and lower blood pressure.

Apparently, Rescued Hearts does allow seniors to adopt older animals -- which is to say, animals likelier to perish before their owners -- which is more reasonable than an outright ban. But before sharing this piece of information with Ward Twining, it seems Rescued Hearts showed him two 11-month-old chihuahuas and led him to believe they were his for the taking, the moment they got their shots. It wasn't 'til he showed up to bring his new companions home that Twining was given the bad news.

Here's what's irksome about this story: Apparently, animal lovers are very concerned about the impact a dying owner might have on his furry friends. But why aren't animal lovers equally concerned with the impact a dying older animal might have upon its senior owner? I was with my 80-year-old grandmother when she lost her 15-year-old gray kitty, Oscar. She was inconsolable. Oughtn't Rescued Hearts be as mindful with the well-being of its aging clientele as it is with the well-being of puppies? Aren't humans animals too?

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