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Donations: Pets reap the benefits of senior meal programs

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Thanks to increasing charitable donations, several seniors no longer need to worry about feeding their pets.

These days, it's common knowledge that having a pet around can drastically improve not only your health, but your quality of life overall. According to WebMD, having an animal around the house can improve not just your emotional and mental well being, they can also improve your physical health as well. Studies have shown, for example, that "heart attack survivors and people with serious abnormal heart rhythms who own dogs live longer than people with the same heart problems who don't have pets." And that's just one of the myriad, practical benefits in pet ownership.

In addition to the health benefits of having a pet, dogs and cats can also help diminish feelings of loneliness and isolation. As you can imagine, these time-tested (and repeatedly proven) advantages of pet ownership are especially important to the elderly and disabled.

Sadly, though, in years past, these members of our society have had trouble managing pet ownership, especially when they rely on donations from programs like Meals on Wheels to get enough food to eat. Up until a few months ago, those people who were unable to leave their home and who owned a pet were forced to hand over to their furry friend a portion of the food that was delivered to them each week.

Thanks to a few Los Angeles volunteers who noticed that the dogs and cats along their routes were mealing on burritos and lasagna instead of kibble and canned food, a partnership with local charities and animal shelters was struck which allowed these same volunteers who delivered food to the elderly and disabled to also deliver sustenance to their customers' pets as well.

This new service has been a great boon to those unfortunate people who rely on Meals on Wheels for their, and now their pets', food.

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