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With shelters at capacity, adopting a senior animal is an especially sweet reward

Milwaukee's short summer season brings out our best assets, from live music festivals to a gorgeous parks system offering summer activities like tennis, golf and hiking.

But summer is also peak season for the city's animal shelters. Warmer months bring about new litters of animals, often packing shelters beyond capacity and forcing them to find short-term foster placement. At any given time, according to the Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS), between 10 and 15 percent of its animals eligible for adoption are senior animals — a group that's also the hardest to place.

Prospective adopters tend to gravitate toward younger animals and pass up senior animals due to age or possible medical expenses, says Angela Speed, WHS vice president of communications.

"So far this calendar year in 2022, we've adopted out somewhere between 400 and 500 senior animals. That includes cats and dogs, and that senior age is typically around seven years or older," she said. "It's just so rewarding to have an animal in their golden years and be able to give them the best life possible. And you're saving a life."

On this week's "Uniquely Milwaukee" episode, we continue our conversation with Speed to understand the scale of the need, the distinct and rewarding opportunities senior animals offer, and how you can join the WHS foster program to provide temporary homes for animals in need.

Then we speak with Bjorn Nasett, who you may know as Miss BJ Daniels — an iconic Milwaukee drag performer who has opened his home to more than 20 dogs in as many years. He invites us to Riverwest to meet his family of five dogs — each in their golden years — and shares his experience partnering with Albert's Dog Lounge Dog Rescue.

Director of Digital Content | Radio Milwaukee