By STEVE CAPORIZZO, Founder of Pet Connection

We all know how important adoption is. You are saving a pet’s life, and at the same time bringing happiness and love into your family. Everyone wins. It’s special, and the love is unconditional.

My mom taught me about adoption and helping pets at shelters at a very young age. Adopting from a shelter or a rescue has been a part of my life for more than 50 years.

As I got older, I realized there was more that I could do — and wanted to do — for those special animals that were most overlooked, so I started Pet Connection.

Of course we all love to adopt puppies and kittens, the young and the healthy. But about 15 or 20 years ago, my wife Lisa and I realized that there was more that we could do sharing our love and home with pets. We made it our mission to adopt senior pets, and especially seniors that had medical conditions or special needs. Let me just say this is the BEST decision we ever made.

In every case, we truly know we are saving a life by giving them a home for their golden years. I’m not going to lie: Sometimes it’s not easy. It’s not for everyone, but it just might be for you. And I assure you, it really gives you such a purpose in life when you do it.

The hardest and most gut-wrenching thing is the time you share together. Somehow, we seem to get closer to our seniors and pets that may be ill. I think it is because the bond is stronger with those that need us most.

We’ve always said to each other love is not measured in time, but rather the love and bond that you share for that moment. It may be six months or four years; it doesn’t matter. They love us, we love them, we cry when we say goodbye.

The hurt is real. It’s not different whether you’ve had them for one year or 15.

This past year we’ve lost three of our “fur kids.” Their time with us was not long (enough), but their paw prints will be forever in our hearts. They make us better people, better pet guardians, and we would have it no other way.

Please consider helping a senior pet, or a pet that might be less than perfect. You know why? They are perfect in their own way.

The APF has two special senior kitties that are looking for loving homes to spend their remaining years, Lexi and Lola. And there are also countless animals at other shelters and rescues in the region that are looking for compassionate people with room in their hearts.

Steve Caporizzo is the founder of Pet Connection and has been involved with the Animal Protective Foundation (APF) since it broke ground on its Glenville shelter in 1993. Through Pet Connection, Steve and his wife Lisa have helped tens of thousands of animals find their way to their forever homes.

Original Article