PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- As November comes to a close, so does Adopt a Senior Pet month, a time when animal lovers and shelters urge the public to ignore the stigma and consider taking home an older pet.

Old Dogs New Digs is a non-profit organization that gets senior dogs out of Maine shelters and into loving homes. Vice President, Eryn Ellis, says adopters usually walk right by dogs eight years old and up at the shelters because they're often looking for a puppy or worried a senior dog might not live very long. However, Ellis says with the right home and care, senior dogs can live healthy lives well into their teens.

According to the ASPCA, of the roughly 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized annually in the U.S., 670,000 are dogs and 860,000 are cats. Senior pets are the fastest growing population of animals waiting for homes.

Senior dog adopters who have worked with Old Dog New Digs describe their older dogs as "ready-made," having already been house and leash trained and looking for a more relaxed lifestyle. Plus, senior pets don't need the constant supervision that puppies and kittens require.

If you're interested in adopting a senior dog or any senior pet, check out Old Dogs New Digs or any of our Fetch ME a Home partner shelters: The Ark, New Hampshire SPCA, Kennebec Humane Society, Coastal Aroostook Humane Society, PAWS, SPCA of Hancock County, Cocheco Valley Humane Society, Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, Lucky Pup Rescue, Coastal Humane Society, Maine Chinchilla Shelter, and Animal Welfare Society.