Older Californians are being encouraged to provide foster homes for older pets. 

Tara Shaver with AARP says it's a good match because many shelters have a hard time finding temporary homes for older pets who are often the first to be euthanized. 

"They could foster a dog or a cat for a short period of time, and experience all of the benefits of having a pet, without the long-term commitment," Shaver said. 

It's especially great for older dogs, who are often a good fit for older adults since they don't need to be taught new tricks.

"An older dog is usually house-broken and has some basic training skills under their belt. They're usually more adjusted and settled in, which is great for someone who may not have all the time and energy that a puppy requires," she said. 

Studies have shown that having a pet can bring a number of health benefits to older adults, from lower blood pressure and cholesterol to a reduction in stress and depression.