Funding Will Assist Efforts to Keep Clearfield County Seniors and Their Pets Together Amid the Pandemic and Beyond
CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging Inc. is proud to announce that it has received a $5,000 Meals on Wheels Loves Pets grant through Meals on Wheels America, for its pet support program, “Fur Babies Program.”
Funding will be used to provide food, supplies and improved access to care for the pets of Meals on Wheels clients, which can often be a financial and physical challenge for older adults to manage on their own.
Also, part of the funding will be used to develop informational brochures on responsible pet ownership and what to know if considering the placement of a pet.
This grant compliments and expands the agency’s recent Animatronic Pet Program, which was implemented to combat loneliness and social isolation for Clearfield County older adults.
Through that piece of the Pet Program, 51 animatronic cats and dogs have been paired with older adults facing social isolation, loneliness, depression and dementia.
Feedback regarding this outreach has been very positive with one recipient stating: “She (an animatronic dog) is a great companion to me. I can talk to her and she will blink her eyes and bark back at me like she really is listening to me. I love her to pieces!”
This recipient also stated that other tenants in her building stop by frequently to see the dog as it cheers them up as well.
Funding for this current grant was made possible through a partnership with PetSmart Charities, part of Meals on Wheels America’s strategic effort to combat social isolation and loneliness among seniors across the country.
This year, PetSmart Charities’ support allowed Meals on Wheels America to grant $354,500 to 98 Meals on Wheels programs through the Meals on Wheels Loves Pets initiative, which ensures that homebound seniors and their animal companions can live happy, healthy lives together.
“The companionship a pet offers enhances the physical and mental health and well-being of homebound seniors, which is particularly valuable as so many older adults are feeling even more lonely and isolated amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Meals on Wheels America President and Chief Executive Officer Ellie Hollander.
“We’re grateful for PetSmart Charities’ ongoing support, which has allowed us to invest Meals on Wheels Loves Pets grants in more local Meals on Wheels programs than ever before.
“This support will enable CCAAA to provide pet supplies and care to local seniors, making it more feasible for seniors to remain safe and healthy at home with their beloved companions during this public health emergency and beyond.”
Anyone interested in learning more about the CCAAA Pet Program is encouraged to contact the agency at 814-765-2696.