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Help Seniors Adopt and Keep Their Pets with These Grants and Ideas

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It’s heartbreaking to visit a shelter or rescue group and see all the homeless pets given up by seniors who can no longer afford them. Or sometimes they’re given up because the owners are moving to assisted living or a nursing home and no one in the family will take their pets. And, think of all the pets who need a home but seniors can’t adopt due to lack of funds. Following are some grants and ideas to help seniors adopt as well as keep their pets.

The Pets for the Elderly Foundation helps pay the fees to participating animal shelters throughout the United States for senior citizens (age 60 and over) who adopt a companion dog or cat from a participating shelter — including pre-adoption veterinary exams and spay/neuter, if part of the adoption fee. Last year, the Pets for the Elderly Foundation assisted with the adoption of over 6,500 companion animals.

Pet Peace of Mind grants offered by Banfield Charitable Trust helps hospice patients and their pets with the following:


• Assistance with pet food and cat litter
• Assistance with pet placement after patient’s death
• Flea and tick treatment, grooming and bathing
• Heartworm preventative
• Pain and comfort medications for elderly animals
• Pet boarding or petsitting in case of patient hospitalization
• Routine veterinary care to maintain pet health and decrease patient stress
• Spaying and neutering assistance
• Transportation to and from vet appointments

Also see the blog for Pet Peace of Mind.

Purina® Pets for Seniors partners with participating humane organizations to offer adoption assistance‚ in many cases free of charge‚ to qualified senior citizens (age 60 and over). Following the review‚ if the senior meets the shelter’s normal adoption screening requirements‚ the senior may adopt a puppy‚ dog‚ kitten‚ or cat‚ depending upon the availability of suitable animals.

Do a search online such as “Pets for Seniors” in your area. Many rescue groups and shelters have a “Seniors for Seniors” program in which some funding and/or pet services are available to help.

If you have a senior citizen in your family who’s struggling to buy pet food or pay for veterinarian expenses, offer to help. Offer to pay for the pet’s yearly exam and vaccinations. Give your relative a gift card to the pet food store. Forego an evening out for yourself and help your pet relative instead.

Coordinate with the Meals on Wheels program in your area. If you have a pet food bank, provide food to that organization to reach seniors in need. Or, distribute pet food to your local senior citizens center.

Set up specific funds at your shelter, humane society or rescue group just for seniors. Raise funds with specific events throughout the year to help seniors. Include a page on your website inviting donations to that fund.

You can learn what works from other groups, such as the winning program in the 2007 Maddies Fund Marketing Competition submitted by Pets for Seniors, Edwards, Ill. Read Matching Pets with Senior Citizens.

Also see the post Help Senior Citizens Keep Their Pets.

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