Every once in a while we hear about a new foundation that provides such amazing services that it warms our hearts. The Pets for the Elderly Foundation is one such organization. We were pleased to learn more about them and we’re sure that you will be too. Here is what they’re about and how they help to improve the lives of the elderly in our nation.
What is the Pets for the Elderly Foundation?
This group performs the wonderful service of matching elderly people with pets from local shelters. It creates a winning situation for everyone that’s involved. The pets who are in desperate need of a forever home are placed with a loving owner and both pet and recipient are given a lifelong friend to help ease the loneliness of living alone.
We all need companionship
Everyone needs to feel loved, wanted and needed and that is the purpose behind the Pets for the Elderly Foundation. It was founded in 1992 by the late Avrun Katz. He had a vision for improving the lives of senior citizens by providing them with a pet in need. He knew that he would accomplish two goals that were very important to him in the process. By making it possible to bring the elderly and a needy pet together, he was helping to lessen the number of pets suffering alone in animal shelters while bringing someone to love and spend time with into the homes of seniors who were living alone. It only takes two to make a family and that is what the foundation is helping to do. To form new families with the bonds of companionship that go along with it.
More about Pets for the Elderly
The Pets for the Elderly Foundation is the only national group of its type. It’s a nonprofit that so far has placed over 80,000 pets with new senior owners. The process involves much more than taking an animal from a shelter and giving it a home with a willing participant. It involves finding a good match where the pet and the new owner are compatible matches. It can take time to accomplish this task.
The foundation also pays for a part of the fees that the shelters which are participating in the effort charge. This is a great help for many of the seniors who must live on a fixed income. The program is open to senior citizens of the U.S. who are age 60 and above. The potential owners are matched with a dog or a cat that has gone through a pre-adoption veterinary exams and have been spayed or neutered and have received all of the necessary vaccinations.
As of early 2019, a total of 56 animal shelters participate within 35 states. The Pets for the Elderly Foundation hopes to partner with shelters in every state in American by the end of 2019. This is a lofty goal but the cause is so worthy that it’s hard to imagine that any pet shelter would turn down such an offer.
The benefits of Pets for the Elderly Foundation
America is home to a large population of elderly citizens who have outlived their spouses and live alone. Not everyone has family nearby them and some have no living family at all. This is the formula for a lonely existence and loneliness is a miserable state at best, and it can also have an adverse affect on a person’s physical and mental health status.
The matching process helps seniors to come in contact with a pet that is the right breed, size and temperament to suit their needs for a household pet as well as a socially compatible companion. Just as humans all have different personalities, so do dogs and cats. It’s really important to find the right combination of personality traits and preferences on both sides. A new pet can make a senior feel loved and needed. In addition to this, they can be entertaining and ease the loneliness, improving health and wellness for all concerned. Believe it or not, a pet can actually help to restore youthfulness in seniors. It can remind them of what it was like to be young and vital and you’re likely to catch them smiling and laughing a lot more.