The Humane Society realizes that we can even help people who have no pets. Every week we take one or two of our friendliest pets to a local care facility that houses elderly persons. It has been scientifically demonstrated that the opportunity to play with a cat or dog improves the health of older people. By the way, if you are an older person, and do not have a pet at this time, here is some food for thought. We have videos and books on animal and pet care for free loan to the public. We pay attention to future pet owners as well. We offer presentations on pet care, how to watch for animal abuse, and other topics to area schools. These presentations are available to groups as well. We conduct a yearly essay contest among school students to increase awareness about animal abuse and the need to spay or neuter many pets.
Many people say that a house doesn’t feel like a home without a four-legged, furry friend—particularly for seniors who have been lifelong pet owners. The companionship of a pet has been shown to build self-esteem in the elderly, increase cognitive alertness, and lift the spirits of people with Alzheimer’s. Frequently, an animal can reach a person in a way that other people cannot.