ACF13384

Pets For Alice

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ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Submitted by:

    Tracy Bolzon

    Organization:

    New Hope Animal Rescue

    Location:

    Guelph, Ontario

  • Idea Created:

    September 24, 2012

    Budget:

    Medium ($50K - 100K)

    Community Size:

    Between 100 - 1,000

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Overview:

All too frequently the companionship of a pet is underestimated or disregarded, even though pets are often intimate companions for many elderly people. They help them fight off loneliness, depression and solitude. Pets also increase physical activity in elderly people. New Hope Animal Rescue has initiated a new and innovative foster program - Pets for Alice - that will benefit the city of Guelph and most importantly senior citizens who long for the companionship of an animal. Often seniors are denied adoption through more established organizations due to age.

This program is inspired by a local woman named Alice B. When her beloved dog passed away, she tried to adopt a cat, but was refused because of her age. Sadly she was unable to rescue a suitable animal again. With some assistance she could have managed a pet that would have provided her with much needed love and companionship. Unwanted animals get a home, foster seniors benefit from interaction with pets and volunteers from New Hope Animal Rescue. 

It has been proven in many studies that the loyal companionship of animals can make the golden years happier and healthier. This companionship not only increases the lifespan of animals and people but can help in the recovery from surgeries and illness faster. It is the nurturing instinct in animals that tend to bring out the best in those who are feeling under the weather.  They are great companions that sense when you’re lonely or depressed and they are right there by your side to make you feel better. “Researchers at the University of Guelph have proven that people who have pets are more active and have a more positive outlook on life. These findings have been backed up by a paper published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

A study by the Mayo Clinic uncovered some interesting facts about elderly pet ownership:
1. Pet ownership reduces doctors’ visits by 21%.
2. Alzheimer's patients stay in the present more if they own a pet.
3. Seniors who do not have pets see a significant decrease over time in their physical and mental well-being.
4. Nursing home patients that engage in pet therapy have an increase in social and verbal interaction.”
 source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Pets-Can-Help-the-Elderly-Avoid-the-Need-for-Psychotherapy&id=5778435  

Initially our pilot program placed five cats with five senior foster homes. The cats will stay with the foster parent until:
•  If the foster parent can no longer foster the animal for example: their health, extenuating circumstances such as residence
•  New Hope Animal Rescue determines the foster parent is no longer a good companion for the animal
 
Volunteer home visits will include assessment of animal as well as foster and animal interaction; these visits may also include some animal care duties. An evaluation form will be completed by the foster parent after two months.As a rescue we are very aware of the challenges facing our community with stray and unwanted animals. New Hope Animal Rescue is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the quality of life for animals in Guelph and the surrounding area.
 

Our Request for Your Support New Hope Animal Rescue will need to establish partnerships with existing organizations that already provide assistance to seniors in the community. These liaisons will be strategic partnerships that will assist in the recruitment of volunteers and help identify potential foster homes. 

To address the needs of our seniors and make this program more accessible to all in our community, we need the help of Aviva Community Fund to expand our pilot program into permanent one. We are 100% volunteer driven and these funds would go a long way at making this program a success.The cost around this program includes: veterinarian care, housing and food. Approximately this program cost $1600 per foster per year (includes veterinarian, food etc). All too frequently the companionship of a pet is underestimated or disregarded, even though pets are often intimate companions for many elderly people. They help them fight off loneliness, depression and solitude.

Pets also increase physical activity in elderly people. It has been proven in many studies that the loyal companionship of animals can make the golden years happier and healthier. This companionship not only increases the lifespan of animals and people but can help in the recovery from surgeries and illness faster. It is the nurturing instinct in animals that tend to bring out the best in those who are feeling under the weather.  They are great companions that sense when you’re lonely or depressed and they are right there by your side to make you feel better.
 
New Hope Animal Rescue is a volunteer-driven, registered charity that solely depends on donations from the community for sustainability.Thank you for your consideration of our request.

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