Monday, June 4, 2018

Seniors for Seniors: Finding a Furever Home

Pat S. is a Calgary senior who has found a great way to cure loneliness: adopting a pet! Pat has adopted two animals from Animal Services and she credits them with improving her quality of life.

Pat adopted her first pet from Animal Services in 2009, a little dog she named Teddy. Teddy had been abandoned by his owners and was in need of some TLC when he landed at Animal Services. Luckily, the staff at Animal Services were able to get him back on his (four) feet again, so he could have a second chance at a happy life.

“Animals bring so much joy to our lives and give us purpose,” says Pat. “All they want is to be loved, and there are so many animals waiting for someone to come and rescue them.”

Teddy was a wonderful companion until the day he passed in 2016. The loss left Pat crushed and unsure if she could open her heart to a new pet. “I was devastated. I wasn’t going to get another animal,” remembers Pat. But her brother in Ontario worried about Pat and knew how lonely she would be without Teddy. He suggested she get a cat. Pat thought about it, but as a senior she worried about bringing a pet into her home and then having to surrender it, if she got sick.

Luckily Pat is surrounded by friends and neighbours who agreed with her brother. Pat’s best friend, Mary, said she would be responsible for finding a new home for her pet, should Pat get sick.

So Pat decided to open her heart and home to another pet. She’d had such a great experience adopting form Animal Services the first time, so checked on-line and saw Sophie, a beautiful black and white cat who stole her heart.

“The veterinarian technician let me meet Sophie and it was like she picked me. She put her paw on my shoulder and looked me in the eyes,” remembers Pat.

It took four more visits and a lot of reassurance that Sophie would be looked after if anything happened to Pat, but Sophie did find her furever home with Pat. The two have been inseparable ever since.

“Just because a person is a senior it doesn’t mean that they should miss out on things like having a pet. Having a plan for Sophie’s well-being, should anything happen to me, has allowed me to bring the joy of having a little animal in my life again,” says Pat.

Animal Services offers a “Seniors for Seniors” program year round. Seniors over 60 get 60 per cent off the adoption fee for a cat or dog that is seven years or older.

For information on adopting from Animal Services, including a list of current adoptable animals, visit calgary.ca/adoptapet.

To learn more about Calgary Seniors Week, visit calgary.ca/seniorsweek.

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