HOMEBOUND SENIOR CITIZENS and ELDERLY PETS IN SHELTERS– two forgotten and neglected segments of our society, both alone and both in need of unconditional love. It will be up to us, as community partners, to bring the seniors in our community together, human and otherwise.
Since our inception in 2009, Angel’s Rest Animal Sanctuary has sought to help the elderly – human, canine and feline. While other shelters balk at adopting animals to elderly people, Angel’s Rest celebrates it as we recognize the health and emotional benefits of the human-animal relationship. During our humble beginnings, we searched nearby kill shelters to save those pets deemed “unadoptable” by other rescues due to their advanced age, terminal condition, chronic ailments, open wounds, handicaps and even temperament issues, all of which placed these loving pets first in line for euthanasia. It was our goal to develop a one-of-a-kind pet hospice, and that is what we did. Once word of our good work spread, requests for help started pouring in from all over the country and even internationally. Angel’s Rest has now established itself as a pet hospice-type facility which provides round-the-clock critical care.
This year, with the purchase of our sanctuary building through a very generous anonymous donation, we want to take our commitment to the elderly population to the next level and introduce ELDER PAWS© to the community and business leaders. ELDER PAWS© is designed to enhance the quality of life and match the needs of two forgotten segments of our society: older animals and elderly/homebound citizens. Through this program, Angel’s Rest will draw older less adoptable animals from kill shelters and match them with elderly/disabled citizens who are homebound, in need of companionship and unable to afford a pet of their own. The senior person will provide a loving home for a senior animal, while Angel’s Rest assumes all costs and responsibility for the pet. Volunteers and staff will make regular visits to the “foster” homes to check on the pet, perform routine grooming, change litter boxes, weigh and take the animal’s temperature, bring supplies and provide the elderly caretaker with much needed interaction. Angel’s Rest volunteers and staff will also be on call to address any medical issues and trips to the vet. ELDER PAWS© will provide a solution to the needless killing of animals in our shelters and will enable us to save many more older homeless pets.