It is no secret that pets leave a strong, lasting paw print on your heart. There are numerous ways that a pet can improve your overall health and quality of life. Some of the ways that pets improve our lives are:
Owning a pet is wonderful, but it can also be a major challenge. Certain pets require a lot of attention, and they can cost a lot of money. At Milestone Senior Services, we understand the many benefits of owning a pet, but we can also see how it can be a struggle to own them. We want to ensure that as many people as possible can keep their furry friends at home while alleviating the financial struggles that come along with it. Since 2002, Milestone Senior Services has hosted annual Pet Care Drives and housed a pet support program where we have been able to donate food and supplies to people in the community in need. In the last fiscal year, we served 163 seniors and 396 pets, and distributed 676 bags of food.
We reached out to some of our clients that receive pet food support and got to hear their pet stories and how Milestone Senior Services has impacted them.
Margaret and Geoff never say no to a stray cat that comes their way. The cats must know that they will be loved unconditionally in their household. This couple owns 5 cats right now, Fluffy, Baby, Lady, Boots and Blacky. Margaret jokes that “whenever a kitty comes along that needs help, Geoff is immediately out there helping them.” Margaret and Geoff have many fond memories of owning cats. Geoff exclaims, “its enjoyable to watch them play. They are all nice cats, and they give us something to do since we cannot get out much anymore.”
Pamela spends a lot of her time now taking care of her grandchildren and her 4 dogs, Lady, Toby, Krista and Jonja. Pamela explains why she enjoys owning pets as “They make me feel secure and always provide me with laughter. They are just like family.” Pamela had all sorts of wonderful stories about her dogs, and we laughed about how wild they can be sometimes. She has expressed great gratitude towards Milestone Senior Services for their help in owning a pet and said “Milestone is a blessing. They are always there when you need them, and I just need everyone to know how thankful I am for them.”
Marnie has one cat and one dog that are always there to comfort her when she is happy, sad, or in between. Her cat's name is Milky from her love of milk and her dog is a Lhasa Apso named Romeo for being such a flirt. Milky likes to follow her around the house and hang out by her ankles while Romeo sits with her at night until she falls asleep, then he moves to sit in between all entrance doors to her home as a watch dog. Marnie tells her experience of owning a pet and with Milestone as “It is awesome to be able to have animals and Milestone has helped me have them for a while. Without you, I do not know what I would do. “
After dogs became too difficult to care for, Gertrude rescued two cats, Frisky and Tootsie. Both of her cats are inside-outside cats that all her neighbors know. Gerturde has become very close with her neighbors and has really grown to love where she lives and the other people that live there. Gertrude recounts her experience with Milestone: “Milestone helps me a lot. They help me with Meals on Wheels when I need it and they always get me cat food when I need it. “
Milestone Senior Services cannot support clients like these without your help. Every donation counts. We will be hosting a Pet Care Drive from Monday, May 2nd– Friday, May 6th and would love to see your support! We will be partnering with Cool 101 to document this drive and are partnering with Harding's who will be providing pet support for this drive. Please see the link below for our Pet Care Drive schedule.
For the Pet Care Drive, we will be accepting donations of wet pet food, dry pet food in 10 lb. bags or less, litter, toys and treats, or monetary donations that will go towards minor veterinary bills or personalized pet food for the pets. Through our last drive in 2019, we received 674 bags of food and $1000 in cash donations. This year, our goal is to receive 600 bags of pet food and earn $1,000 in donations.
Milestone Senior Services’ pet support program helps your little furry friends stay. You qualify to receive pet support if you are 55 or more, you reside in Kalamazoo Country or Calhoun County, and you struggle to keep pets due to challenges accessing pet food. If you could benefit from pet support, please reach out!
Link to more information on the Pet Care Drive and dates: https://milestoneseniorservices.org/events
Link to see if you qualify for Pet Support: https://milestoneseniorservices.org/support-services