Seniors are finding faithful companions thanks to a program offered by Logan City Council.
The Senior Pets for Senior People program has been providing eligible seniors with mature age companions, free of charge, for the last seven years.
An elderly couple from Woodridge, Alf and Pam Waye were partnered with a beautifully-natured, three-legged dog last year named Trixie and say they are pleased with how things have gone.
Alf and Pam have had animals all through their lives, but after losing their previous pet Chihuahua and being in their 70s, they decided they wouldn’t have any more dogs. But 18 months on they saw Trixie’s photo in the paper and thought they’d go to the pound and have a look.
Trixie was struck by a car mid last year and not only lost her front leg, but also lost her family. She wound up at the Logan Animal Management Centre in late July after undergoing emergency surgery, where she was placed up for sale.
Alf says when they went to have a look they liked what they saw, but were unsure about the financial impacts of adopting a dog.
“We came home and not even an hour later they [Logan Animal Management Centre] called us to say they had decided to give Trixie to us on the program. It was fantastic to be honest, we went straight back to get her, there was no mucking around or time wasted,” he says.
Pam says they had heard about the Senior Pets for Senior People program but never thought of trying for a pet through the program.
“It has been just wonderful, it has made a big difference in our lives…Trixie keeps us occupied and you’re never alone around her,” she says.
Pam takes Trixie regularly to obedience training at Logan All Breeds Dog Obedience Club and for walks to the local off-leash area. The couple take Trixie everywhere and say she’s always a conversation starter on their caravanning trips to Darlington Park and Flanagan Reserve.
“Some people don’t even notice [her three-leg status] at first, but there’s not much she can’t do really… It’s like she doesn’t even know sometimes,” Pam says.
Alf and Pam say they highly recommend the program and have mentioned the program to many people, with some couples currently looking into finding their own loveable companion.
Leah Dent, Companion Animal Training and Education Officer at the Animal Management Centre says since 2007 the program has been well-received among seniors.
She says every month is different at the centre, but last month 10 per cent of the 40 animals adopted out were through the Senior Pets for Senior People program.
“Generally there are smiles all around, it’s a really happy moment for us and the seniors when an animal is sold.
“We often get the seniors revisiting to keep us up to date with their pet’s progress and we love that,” she says.
Dent says the program has a number of benefits and has been proven to increase seniors’ social and verbal interactions, while encouraging physical activity by taking their dog for a walk.
“Usually the senior pets are totally toilet-trained already, but you can definitely teach them new tricks,” she says.
All residents who hold a federal or state government seniors card are eligible for the program and are provided with free lifetime registration.
There are currently three ‘Golden Oldies’ available for adoption. All cats and dogs in this program are checked by Council’s veterinarian and are of mature age, more settled in their nature and are desexed, microchipped and registered.
Honey is a nine-year-old female Staffordshire Bull Terrier whose name suits her very well. She has a sweet and loving nature and loves the attention from everyone. The vet has noted some weight loss is needed to ensure a healthy and happy lifestyle. She would suit a family who is willing to take her for regular walks and maintain a strict diet and not give in to that gorgeous face. She has lovely manners and enjoys being out and about.
Taz is an eight-and-a half-year-old male Pomeranian. He loves spending his days going on gentle walks and cuddling up to staff at the Animal Management Centre. He is a soft, gentle boy who needs someone to take it slow and help him build his confidence. He loves company and gets along well with all the furry friends at the Animal Management Centre. Grooming is also essential to keep him looking handsome and youthful. He would suit a family who has plenty of time to relax with him on the couch.
Korn is an eight-year-old male Cornish Rex mix. He is a loving and affectionate boy who is getting too old for childish games. He likes to watch the young ones play but prefers relaxing and getting cuddles during the day. He would suit a family that would make him their one and only or have an older furry companion already at home to relax with him. Cornish Rex breeds don’t mind the water and actually enjoy being washed to keep their coat in good condition. His new family will also need to make sure his ears are always clean.