55/5 Adoption Program

Walking into the Calaveras Animal Shelter, one can see lively puppies and young adult dogs clamoring for the attention of the visitor; however, huddled in a kennel, sitting quietly and paying little attention to the others, visitors will often see an older dog. These are animals that Animal Services has determined may be 5 years of age or older. If you watch and listen, such a dog probably has a story to tell. “Why am I here? Yesterday, I was sleeping at the foot of the bed in a home with a nice family. All of a sudden, they’re gone. Why didn’t they take me? Was it my fault?”

Unfortunately, with today’s economy and foreclosed homes, the pet’s welfare is the last thing on the family’s mind. They figure if they take him to the shelter, someone is bound to adopt him. “After all, he’s a perfect pet.” Little do these folks know that when families come to the shelter, their attention is instead grabbed by puppies and young adults.

The Calaveras Humane Society formed a program, with the support of Calaveras County Animal Services, to help find homes for older dogs. The program is deemed 55/5 and aims to pair senior adults 55 years and older with dogs 5 years and older. The adoption fee is paid by the program, as well as any spay/neuter fees, if needed. If the animal is not licensed, chipped, or current on their rabies vaccine, the senior who chooses to adopt will cover these costs. The program is a win-win situation—senior citizens and senior animals have so much to give—why not give it to one another?

The adoption process is simple. Seniors must fill out a Calaveras County Animal Services application and then be approved by Animal Services. Once approved, the senior pays for the rabies shot, license fee and microchipping, and the CHS 55/5 program pays for the adoption fee and spay/neuter.

Funding for the program is through fund-raisers specified for 55/5 and through donations.

One 55/5 Program story is of a couple from LaGrange who saw Buckley, a 7-year-old lab, on Petfinder. Bill and Aleen Kinsella fell in love with him and his story. They adopted him with only the info they received from Petfinder.

Recently, Bill wrote:

“Buckley has been with us for a week and seems to be adjusting well. He is quite active with the other two dogs and it looks like he formed a strong attachment to Halley (Black Lab). He goes with me on short trips and I think is happy to be with me.

He does have the run of the house and when he wants quiet time he usually goes onto the bed in the computer room. Actually, if we don’t see him, that’s usually where he can be found.

He is eating well and gets plenty of exercise in both pastures. He is affectionate and not destructive. We know Buckley has found his forever home.”


The CHS 55/5 program pairs dogs 5 years and older with human companions 55 years and older

Related Pages


Calaveras Humane Society - Volunteer

Feral Feline Project

sidebar icon feral feline project

Foster Home

Calaveras Humane Society - Volunteer Foster Home

Animal Rescue Program

sidebar icon CHS Animal Rescue Program

Spay and Neuter Help

Calaveras Humane Society - Spay/Neuter Vouchers