Everyone needs love and companionship. And that’s why the late Avrum Katz founded Pets for the Elderly Foundation in 1992. His vision was to provide companionship to senior citizens through pet ownership, while saving the lives of companion animals in shelters.
PFE is currently the only national organization matching shelter animals with senior citizens, and this nonprofit organization hit a milestone this year, reaching more than 80,000 national pet and senior matches since the organization went national in 2002.
PFE pays a portion of the fees to participating shelters throughout the U.S. for senior citizens (aged 60 and over) who adopt a dog or cat from a participating shelter, including pre-adoption veterinary exams and spay/neuter (if those are part of the adoption fee).
So far, there are 56 participating shelters in 35 states, with the hopes of expanding to having a shelter in every state in 2019.
Patricia Smith (pictured) recently adopted her puppy, Brady, with PFE’s help. A widowed, retired middle school teacher, she was looking for a new canine companion after her dog, Chloe, passed away. She wasn’t really considering a puppy, but when she saw Brady (then called Joe) at the shelter, she couldn’t resist, and she brought him home that same day. She says that Brady is a loving little guy who follows her everywhere. When she took him to a puppy socialization class offered by the Humane Society, he ended up being the star of the class!
Patricia is looking forward to many rewarding years with her new buddy. She points out that he’s really full of energy, so he’ll definitely keep her young. For more information, visit petsfortheelderly.org.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!