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      Adopt a senior

      They're cute, they're cuddly, they're seniors, and they want a loving home!

      But often times, senior pets, those six years or older, are overlooked when it comes to adoption.

      "The great thing about adopting a senior pet is what you see is what you get. A lot of people think, 'I'll adopt a puppy or kitten so that I can raise them to be the way I want them to be.' And that's true in some senses. But animals, just like people, have their own personality, which we don't always have a lot of control over," said Melanie Bell, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter.

      One of the advantages of adopting a senior pet is that their personality has already developed, so you know what you're getting into before you get home.

      Lynn Andronis knows first-hand how deep the love of a senior pet can go and how easily they can adjust to a new home.

      She adopted her then nine-year-old cat, Emily, three years ago.

      "She's an absolute love. She's come a long way since we first got her; she was very un-socialized and spent a lot of time hiding. And now, I can't get her off my lap at night," said Andronis.

      The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter, or UPAWS, offers senior-pet specific promotions, as well.

      Golden Paws offers senior animals at a reduced adoption fee. And Aged to Purr-fection matches senior residents in the community with senior cats, and the adoption fee is waived.

      "Our senior-to-senior program for the cats is great, too, because the cats that are seniors usually prefer to cuddle. They're a little more laid back, and they make great companions for seniors," Bell said.

      And a piece of advice to potential animal adopters?

      "Don't let the cuteness of the puppies and kittens fool you. The older dogs and cats have just as much to give, and maybe even more than the kittens and the puppies because it's an easier adjustment for them to come into a home," Andronis said.

      For a list of senior animals in need of a home or to view the UPAWS wish list, click here.