Pet Care Assistance for Seniors
Pets add so much to our lives: companionship, fun, exercise, affection. However, it can be a challenge for some seniors to afford the food and medical needs of a pet. It is expensive to keep up their vaccinations, visit the vet for sicknesses, and feed them, especially if they require a special diet.
Pet food is not covered by SNAP food stamps in our state, and pet food is usually not stocked by food pantries for people, so low-income pet owners can find affording pet food difficult on a limited budget. Fortunately, there are pet lovers all over the country who are generous in offering pet care assistance to low-income seniors who need help in taking care of pets.
There is an organization in the Dallas area which provides pet care assistance for seniors who need help in affording food for their dogs, cats, and even birds. The Seniors Pet Assistance Network (SPAN) serves the needs of Dallas County low-income seniors, 67 years and older with basic veterinary care and pet food. Volunteers deliver the food to the homes of the seniors. Eligible seniors can also get basic vet care, like annual shots, through clinics which cooperate with SPAN.
A private 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, SPAN is funded solely through private donations and operated by volunteers who love visiting with the seniors and their pets. If you are a senior 67 years or older in Dallas County, and need help to afford pet food, then contact SPAN online.
SPAN came into being when a counselor at the Senior Source in Dallas commented to Adelle Taylor that she was finding that many seniors could not afford pet food for their pets. Adelle went to work on that problem, and rallied others to the cause. Finally, in 2007, she founded SPAN as a non-profit organization. It connects with other organizations serving the elderly in the Dallas area.
In some communities, Meals on Wheels, the service that brings meals to low-income seniors, will bring pet food as well as meals for people to the homes of seniors. Check with Meals on Wheels in your area to see if pet food assistance may be available.
For a list of organizations in your state that provide food for pets and other assistance such as low-cost spay and neuter or annual shots, see the website of the Humane Society of the United States:
Your local veterinarian’s office or the local office of the Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) might also know of sources of free or low-cost pet food in your area.
If you know a senior who loves their pet, but has difficulty affording its food, why not show them some love with a bag or can of pet food for their pet-friend? Then, help them find a free or low-cost source of pet food by contacting the resources in this article.