Animals are an important part of any pet owner’s life, though they can require care that ageing seniors may not be able to provide.
To keep these older Calgarians from the heartbreak of having to part with their pets, the Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society has secured $15,000 in funding from a grant courtesy of PetSmart Charities of Canada to expand their Pet Assist program.
The program was created to pair volunteers up with seniors (and their pets) who were in need of a little help walking, caring for, and grooming their animal companions, ensuring that animal and owner can stick together.
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“The Pet Assist program mobilizes volunteers and other community resources to provide the support needed to ensure both the companion animal and the senior are healthy, happy and together,” said Emma Rudolf, Pet Assist Program Coordinator, in a release from the Calgary Seniors Resource Centre.
“Last year, we helped 106 seniors and their pets stay together and the goal for 2020 is to support 130 pets and seniors!”
The release also noted that keeping pets with their senior owners can provide health benefits for the humans, including lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, and increased social interaction and physical activity.
“PetSmart Charities of Canada is proud of its continued work with Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society, and ensuring that as people age and encounter new life circumstances, they have access to the necessary resources to help care for their pet,” said Dani LaGiglia, regional relationship manager of PetSmart Charities of Canada, in the release.
“We understand the importance of pet companionship for seniors’ health and happiness, and are pleased to support Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society to keep seniors and their pets together.”