Did you know a substantial demographic we serve through our Shelter Intervention program are senior citizens in our community? It may be surprising to think of your grandparent, or maybe an elderly neighbor who you always see walking their dog, arriving at the shelter to surrender their pet, but tragically it happens every day.
These pet owners commonly live off a very fixed income. With rising personal health care and living costs, in addition to increasing veterinary expenses, many are struggling to provide for themselves and their pets. They love their furry companions- sometimes they are the only family and companionship they have. Pets provide seniors with friendship, calmness, love, purpose, exercise, security, and even a social outlet. There is no doubt that pets provide endless benefits for our senior friends and family.
Daniel, our Shelter Intervention Counselor, relayed that an elderly woman who had shared 14 wonderful years with her dog walked through the shelter lobby hoping for help last week. She knew her dog’s quality of life was declining from old age. She wanted to access humane euthanasia in order to end her pet’s suffering and say goodbye, but she could not afford what she was quoted for this service until the end of the month when she received her Social Security check. Not knowing where else to turn, she came to the shelter to surrender her aging pet hoping they could give her the humane ending she wished she could afford to.
It’s a heartbreaking tale, and unfortunately one that is not unique. Thankfully, because of your support, The Arizona Pet Project paid for her pet’s humane euthanasia and enabled her to be with her dog to say her final goodbye.
On an extremely fixed income, unexpected or even common costs can pose a great challenge. Does that mean senior citizens don’t deserve all the benefits of having a pet? We don’t believe so. We believe it means they need access to affordable services, support, and resources.
Can you make a gift today to positively impact more families and pets?