In the animal-shelter world, it's generally true that the youngest animals don't remain in shelters long. Cute as they are, kittens and puppies tend to find adopters in two shakes of a, well, a puppy's tail. Indeed, several puppies we recently cared for were with us only a week before they were off to new homes. And that's great. But we would like to point out that older dogs and cats also have a lot of love to give.

Zoe is one such senior. At 10-plus years, she's no kid, but oh, does she have spunk! When she arrived at P.A.W.S. a few weeks ago, she was in poor condition. The hair on her back end was mostly gone, and her nails were so long, they had curled into little round discs. We put her on a special diet, made sure she had the proper vaccines and gave her weekly medicated baths. Slowly, she began to look better, and while not yet fully rehabbed, she's ready for adoption. Zoe loves people, does not like to be alone for long stretches, and wants to play as much as possible. Her small-to-medium size makes her an ideal family pet. And after all she has been through, we think she deserves a family that will take good care of her in her golden (but still active) years.

Penny, too, is in the age-10-and-up category, but you'd never know it by looking at her. She is a medium-haired calico, and although cats of that sort sometimes have a bit of a princess complex, Penny is nothing like that. This beautiful girl is relaxed and easygoing. She loves nothing more than taking cat naps and observing the world around her. Penny is fine with other cats but will not seek their attention; if they seek hers, she usually just walks away. She would love to find a quiet home where she can spend her senior years curled up in front of a fireplace or dozing in a sunny window.

Of course, if you do have your heart set on a kitten, we've got plenty for you to choose from. Among the numerous cats we've recently taken in are many youngsters, all waiting adorably for adoption. The kitten room is starting to fill up, and these precious babies need room to play. Come see them at the shelter at 123 John St. in Camden and prepare to fall in love.

Or, if you're not in a position to adopt but still want to help, remember that we are in urgent need of dry kitten food and canned cat and dog food, as well as litter, bleach, trash bags, laundry detergent, and dish soap. Even if you pick up just one of these items next time you're at the store and drop it off at the shelter, it would be a great help to us and the animals. Questions? Please call us at 236-8702 or check out our website, pawsadoption.org. We thank you for your continuing love and support.