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Are "indigent pet" programs a good idea or a bad idea?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Do you think the good hearted people of San Diego, CA are helping by helping seniors/disabled people who need Meals on Wheels feed their pets?? http://www.sandiegofamily.com/pages/...st%20page.html
or is it encouraging people who can't "properly" afford a pet to get one anyway??
post #2 of 21
What were you trying to link to? It just goes to the front page of a San Diego Family Magazine, and the only thing that mentions pets you can't click on...

Just from how you described it, it might be a bad idea. However, if the meals-on-wheels people will take the pet to the vet it's not a bad idea. They are there every day, and could keep an eye on it. Plus, people who have pets live longer and have something to do with their day besides watch tv and wait for the mail. I think my grandpa should get a pet... he's on meals-on-wheels. And many nursing homes have like, retired seeing-eye or public service dogs, or senior cats. They're the highlight of the day!
post #3 of 21
The rescue I foster for have homed to elderly people, as long as there is someone around who can help with food and vet visits, and one of our fosterers is actually housebound due to a disability, but she is excellent with the cats, and it does give her something to live for.
post #4 of 21
At my rescue, anyone over 60 can adopt a cat over 6 y/o for free. I think it is nice to help people who can't afford a pet to afford them. Especially if it is an ongoing program. The vet fees are a concern, though...
post #5 of 21
i talked to a lady who was buying cat food for th e meals on wheels program. She said they found out that the people were giving part of thier food to their pets. So they started taking donations of pet food to give to the peple who have pets.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom
What were you trying to link to? It just goes to the front page of a San Diego Family Magazine, and the only thing that mentions pets you can't click on...
Sorry...here's another link that goes directly to the Helen Woodward center that runs the program:http://www.animalcenter.org/animeals/
post #7 of 21
Pets have been proved to help with depression, easing the symptoms of heart disease etc.. I think everyone has the right to own a pet (but you should be realistic and think about what you can afford/what is most suitible. Like maybe a hamster over a rotweiler..) so i applaud this scheme.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
At my rescue, anyone over 60 can adopt a cat over 6 y/o for free. I think it is nice to help people who can't afford a pet to afford them. Especially if it is an ongoing program. The vet fees are a concern, though...
my other concern is what happens to the animals if the owner has to go to assisted living or dies.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsknowme
my other concern is what happens to the animals if the owner has to go to assisted living or dies.
it's down to the owner imho to make provisions for this. a 60 year old has in theory another 20 years ahead of them!

I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, but if i did, my pets would be provided for as I have taken the time to plan ahead.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
my arrangements are already made - my sis will take on my disabled daughter & she and my brother will take on my cats, and vice-versa with them. My heartache is all the "owner died" or "owner went into a home" stories that I see in the animal shelters. However, I guess it's just as reasonable to consider that these pets would have wound up in the shelter earlier, had the elderly person not adopted them.
post #11 of 21
As I said in my post, the rescue I foster for do it as long as there is someone there to help - we homed a young adult to a 92 year old last year, as we had an assurance from the woman who looks after the sheltered accomodation that she will take the cat on if anythign happens, and also take her to the vet, help with litter tray etc. The other one that went to an older person went as their daughter assured us that that cat would be looked after, or if not, they were to contact us.
post #12 of 21
Most people who are on Meals-on-Wheels have some support network, like they live in assisted living and someone will come check on them, or their family is around, or they have a hired nurse.

The way I read the article, the people already had pets and were sharing the meal they got with their pet. So now, the pets have good nutrition and so do the elderly people, where before neither did. So it's a great idea!!!! It is not a program to give them pets, but rather to feed them both.
post #13 of 21
Well, I think that if anyone NEEDS a pet, it's an elderly person, who lives alone. Dogs and cats do help prolong lives, and improve the quality of living for the elderly.

I don't really consider 60 as elderly, though. Most 60 year olds are still working, so I'm sure someone in their 60's can afford to care for a pet, probably better than most younger people.

Also, from what I've seen on the Meals on Wheels thing, you don't have to be poor the get Meals on Wheels. I used to live in an apartment building that had a lot of elderly living in it. Wonderful people, by the way. Anyway, the lady who lived across from me, was a Millionare, and she got Meals on Wheels, because it was too difficult for her to cook.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
Well, I think that if anyone NEEDS a pet, it's an elderly person, who lives alone. Dogs and cats do help prolong lives, and improve the quality of living for the elderly.

I don't really consider 60 as elderly, though. Most 60 year olds are still working, so I'm sure someone in their 60's can afford to care for a pet, probably better than most younger people.
well, i'm glad to hear your opinion on 60 year olds, since i'll be there in less than 12 years! but i agree - this sounds like a good program - assisting people who need it. as long as they truly need the help, and aren't just using the program to get out of paying for required care - sounds good to me!
post #15 of 21
"Also, from what I've seen on the Meals on Wheels thing, you don't have to be poor the get Meals on Wheels."

I totally agree. My granpa gets his Meals-on-Wheels daily, and they could afford to hire a cook. It is so heartbreaking. He has had two or three strokes, and it's very hard for him to go anywhere. He is alone most of the time, my granma puts him in nursing homes when she feels like going on vacation, and my mom tries to go visit but she is working full-time.
He looks forward to his Meals-on-Wheels, always knows what is coming the next day, stands looking out of the front door or sitting on the patio waiting for it. He was very upset on Thanksgiving because he wans't going to get his Meals-on-Wheels. I'm serious, it's like he lives for it, and no other reason really. Even when he's having a bad day, that is the one thing he remembers.

A pet would really help him, toddling around in that big empty house. He is very stoic, but he loves little kids and animals. Other than that he's kind of bitter. But a dog or cat would really help him out, he grew up on a farm and they have a nice big yard and everything, but he would be unable to drive to buy food and such. If there was an emergency my mom could take the pet to a vet, and she could bring by litter or collars or what-have-you. I think many of the people in the program are like that.

My impression of it is that it is for affluent or middle-class elderly people who just can't get around anymore, or have serious medical issues. Is that wrong?
post #16 of 21
I think if somone already has a pet, and they just need food for it, great. I am not so sure about getting a pet for someone that must depend on others to bring them food. It is a nice thought, but may be impractical, and unfair to the pets that may end up in a shelter if nobody can take them if their owners can no longer care for them.
My dream if I ever won the lottery is to set up a foundation to help elderly people on fixed incomes with vet care, food, and final arrangements for their cats. Maybe a no kill shelter that can rehome cats who's owners have passed away or have become too ill to care for them.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
Well, I think that if anyone NEEDS a pet, it's an elderly person, who lives alone. Dogs and cats do help prolong lives, and improve the quality of living for the elderly.
I wholeheartedly agree. My father was virtually housebound for six long years following a massive stroke, and having the dogs' and cat's companionship and entertainment was extremely important to him. My mother is now elderly (75) and in ill health, and her "babies'" are what keep her going. Many elderly people can no longer drive, or shouldn't, so it can difficult for them to get out and buy pet food. Carrying cans/bags of food can also be almost impossible for some due to arthritis or a stroke, etc. Vets' visits are less of a problem, because they generally are occasional, rather than a daily matter, and some shelters/neighborhood organizations can find volunteers for "vet runs" (something I myself do).

I don't agree with some shelters' policy of not adopting to senior citizens. Our local shelter will not consider anybody over 65, but has older cats, and the occasional older dog (it's a no-kill cat shelter), with little chance of finding a home. I would much rather see a pet returned to the shelter after 2, 4, or 6 years of a loving home, than to have it "banished" there for the rest of its life. Only adopting out mature pets to elderly people is reasonable, but saying "no pets" isn't, and will lead some potential adopters to resort to the services of BYBs.
post #18 of 21
My mom is turning 51 in Nov(*gasp*). On august 2nd, she has back surgery. She will be in a back brace for at least 2 months & off work for 6+ months. That qualifies her as disabled. She cannot drive until she gets rid of the brace & off pain meds. I am now chauffer, cooker, & cleaner of the house(more so than now). Do you know how glad she is I have tons of cats? She is so excited that they will be there for her. She can always use a snugglebug as she cannot do much else.


I have known many older people who have pets & want pets. Most of them don't get a pet b/c we live in a rural area & it can be difficult to get them to a vet. However, those I know of who have pets have lived through things you owldn't think they could! My grandmother always says she wants a pet(just one that won't stink or get her house dirty ), so she doesn't die of lonliness. She'll never get a pet($$$ is more than she has), but she still wishes she would.

I think it is a good idea. Consider that these people may be getting cats that would otherwise be euthanized because they are unadoptable. Our shelter runs a no adoption fee adoption for senior citizens in Jan, Fab, Mar. We have done one when we had 50% of our cats be seniors, too!
post #19 of 21
It's good for those animals who are in that situation. But these meals on wheels people should not own pets in the first place, if they can not afford to take care of them.
post #20 of 21
As I read that article, there's nothing there about encouraging people to take in pets they don't already have -- it's about enabling people to keep the pets they have, when tending their needs becomes problematic -- just as Meals-on-Wheels is about allowing a person to stay in their home, retain some independence, when getting out to do shopping and then preparing a meal, is no longer possible.

It's not about whether they can afford to take care of the animals. As has been said previously about Meals-on-Wheels, it isn't just for people who can't afford to provide their own food, though those people are not passed over by the programme. It's just as much for people who are perfectly able to afford their food, but unable to shop for and prepare it because of disability.

Would you deny them a pet whose needs they can afford because they are not able to shop for that food either?

I think it sounds like a great programme.
post #21 of 21
It is a great idea ... I know I am not old but if it werent for my "kids" I would not be here ...
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