Pets for Seniors' Program

senior citizen couple with dogPets Niagara is pleased to offer our "Pets for Seniors" sanctuary program. This innovative program is aimed at improving the lives of both pets and senior citizens by pairing eligible senior citizens with a companion animal in need of a home. We will match older felines with a senior citizen or, in some cases, people with disabilities.

We believe that a person's age should not be a bar to pet ownership. Yet, often a senior will be denied a pet adoption opportunity by numerous organizations. We also believe that, with some assistance a senior citizen can manage a pet that can provide him or her with much needed love and companionship. Pets Niagara sees this opportunity as a win-win for seniors and pets as the pets are provided with a home and the foster senior benefits from interaction with pets and volunteers from Pets Niagara.

It has been proven in many studies that the loyal companionship of animals can make the golden years happier and healthier. A study by the Mayo Clinic uncovered some interesting facts about elderly pet ownership:

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.

The cats placed in this program with a senior will stay with that senior foster parent until:

  1. The foster parent is unable to continue to foster the animal due to health or other extenuating circumstances such as having to move into long-term care or assisted living, or,

  2. if Pets Niagara determines that the pet is no longer a good companion for the senior foster parent.

Any senior who is interested in applying for this program should contact Pets Niagara by filling out our Contact Enquiry form. The completed form will be directed to our PFS co-ordinator who will respond to them and help guide them through the application process.

This process involves filling out an application form. Once it is determined that they are eligible, a visit will be made to their home to ensure the arrangements are in place for the pet's daily care.

After a pet is placed with a senior volunteers will follow up with the senior foster parent through bi-weekly home visits. During the home visit an assessment of the pet as well as of the senior foster parent and animal interaction will be made. These visits may also include some animal care duties, such as nail trims. Any questions or concerns of the senior foster parent can be addressed during the home visit.

An evaluation form will be completed by the senior foster parent after two months to monitor the benefit of the match with their pet and concerning the pet's health, demeanor and behaviour in general.

The pet remains the property of Pets Niagara and we will supply the food, litter and incidentals for the pet. Regular veterinarian maintenance is also provided by Pets Niagara. If an emergency arises the foster caregiver must immediately drive or have the pet delivered to the pet's veterinarian or emergency clinic. The senior foster parent must then immediately contact Pets Niagara to advise of the emergency and the location of the pet. If taken to a non-preapproved veterinary facility, all expenses will be the responsibility of the foster caregiver.

If for any reason the caregiver is no longer able to care for the animal or chooses not to be in the program any longer, Pets Niagara will immediately receive the animal back into its sole care and control.

How you can Help

If you are interested in assisting with, sponsoring, or contributing to the Pets for Seniors sanctuary program, please contact us today. We want to grow this program in the coming years and need your help to do so!

Regular monthly gifts provide a consistent, reliable income stream that allows us to spend less time fundraising - and more time saving lives. Becoming a sponsor of a sanctuary pet is an easy and efficient way to fight pet neglect and homelessness and make a difference for the many unwanted and unloved pets that we see all year long. Please help us continue to be a voice for these sad and broken spirits. They truly give us a chance to be a part of witnessing miracles of healing of mind, body and spirit. We can only accomplish this with your support.

Thank you for taking time to care for animals in need. If we all work together, we can strive toward "Saving Them All".

Image courtesy of Ambro at

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