When seventy - year- old Jan M.* wanted to adopt a dog for companionship, she discovered the adoption fees far outweighed her budget. Like many seniors, she was on social security / disability. Then she discovered a nonprofit organization that is assisting senior citizens with adopting a four-legged friend and helping to curtail loneliness, depression, health issues, and all things that are part of getting older.
The Pets for the Elderly Foundation (PFE) is a 501 (c)(3) public charity whose mission is to provide companionship to senior individuals through pet ownership, while saving the lives of companion animals in shelters; animals which might otherwise be destroyed due to lack of appropriate homes, and space limitations. Several shelters in the United States participate in the program. Jan M. discovered one such shelter in Nashville, near her home.
The Pets for the Elderly Foundation helps pay adoption fees to participating animal shelters for persons aged 60 and over who adopt a pet - including pre-adoption veterinary exams and spay/neuter, if part of the adoption fee. The potential adoptee is still responsible for completing the paperwork required by the shelter, such as an adoption application, and meeting the adoption requirements. Special restrictions apply, and the adoptee should discuss the program with the shelter.
Jan M, who is working on a diet and exercise program, says, "a dog will help me get out and walk. A dog would give me motivation -- they have to get out, where I can just make excuses. And having a dog will help me get out of my shell; I see other people walking their dogs in the apartment complex and we could socialize, which I need to do." Research has proven pets are good for people; they help you learn compassion, care-taking, dealing with grief, and love without judgement or prejudice. According to PFE, "Research shows the most serious disease for older persons is not cancer or heart disease - it's loneliness. Pets offer affection, unconditional love, fight loneliness, and can help ease the loss of a loved one."
Jan M. was having a tough year. She was diagnosed with depression, she had moved out on her own after a tremulous break-up, and she was grieving the loss of her parents. "Just cuddling a dog, or combing it, someone to take care of that loves me back -- would help so much.'" She is looking forward to going to the Nashville shelter to select a "furever" friend. She already has a dog bed and food dishes in place. "I just wonder what I'll name him?" She asks, excited.
The Pets for the Elderly Foundation information HERE
Shelters participating in the program HERE
Please donate to Pets for the Elderly HERE
My website HERE - adopt, don't shop!
Photo of J. Yates credit HERE
* pseudonym for privacy