Home : View
Our Pets : Spay/Neuter Clinic : Wish
List : Volunteering : Lost/Found :
Rabies Info : Surrender Your
These animals don't ask for much
—just a short list of basics such as food,
shelter, veterinary care, and, of course, our companionship. Pets
offer far more in return, teaching us about love, improving our
emotional and physical health, and providing us with unconditional
affection and friendship.
Companion animals are natural teachers.
They help people of all ages learn about responsibility, loyalty,
empathy, sharing, and unconditional love—qualities particularly
essential to a child's healthy development.
Through helping to care for
a pet, children also learn to care for their fellow human beings.
There is an established link between how people treat animals and
how they treat each other. Kindness to animals is a lesson that
benefits people, too.
Pets are good for our
emotional and physical health. Caring for a companion animal can
provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of
loneliness and isolation in all age groups. It's well known that
relaxed, happy people do not become ill as often as those who suffer
from stress and depression.
Animal companionship also
helps lower a person's blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And
studies show that having a dog increases survival rates in groups of
patients who have suffered cardiac arrest. Dog walking, pet
grooming, and even petting provide increased physical activity that
strengthens the heart, improves blood circulation, and slows the
loss of bone tissue. Put simply, pets aren't just good friends, they
are good medicine.
Because many Americans are
living longer lives these days, sometimes elderly people find
themselves living alone because they have outlived loved ones, or
because they live far from any family. There is a way, however, for
the elderly to find new meaning in their lives, and to redefine what
it means to be "young at heart"—by adopting a companion animal from
a local shelter.
We already know that the
many physical benefits pets confer onto people work for all ages,
whether you're eight or eighty. If you're older, a pet can offer you
a sense of well being, a sense of encouragement, and even a reason
for living. Being responsible for another life can add new meaning
to your own life, and having to care for and provide a loving home
to a companion animal can also help you remain active and
You may want to consider
adopting an older animal, however, rather than a puppy or kitten or
a rambunctious "teenage" pet. Older pets are more likely to be calm,
already housetrained, and less susceptible to unpredictable
behavior. Older animals are often more easily physically managed by
elderly persons than stronger, excitable younger animals; yet older
pets still confer the same medical and emotional benefits on their
owners as younger animals do. Animal shelter staff can help
potential adopters find the most suitable animal for their
lifestyle, ensuring a great match between pet and person.