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Pet Support helps keep people and pets together

Pet Support helps keep people and pets together

Johanna, who is 70 years old and lives alone, had a heart attack and underwent a procedure to repair a damaged artery last summer. When she returned home she had limited mobility and was not able to cook for herself. Her home-health provider connected her with Milestone Senior Services for our Home Delivered Meals program. When we conducted our intake interview with Johanna we learned that she has a dog and also needed our Pet Support services.

Johanna told us she’s been taking in strays all her life -- both dogs and people. She spent much of her life taking care of people and pets who had fallen on bad times. So a couple of years ago when she decided she wanted a dog, it was only natural that she adopted one from the local animal shelter. Johanna and GG have been best buddies ever since.

Milestone’s Pet Support program helps people who are utilizing our Home Delivered Meal program (Meals on Wheels) to support their pets as well. Our delivery staff and volunteers realized that some of our clients were sharing their food with their pets. For the same reasons many people lack access to food for themselves, they are also unable to provide food for their pets. In Johanna’s case it was not only a financial consideration, but a physical limitation. She used to order dog food and have it delivered, but since her heart attack, she can’t manage those large bags. Through our Pet Support program, Milestone is able to provide Johanna with pet food in more manageable quantities which are delivered on a regular basis through our Home Delivered Meal program.

Many older adults and adults with disabilities who are not able to easily access the community, live in isolated situations, a pet companion can be vitally important to their wellbeing – mentally, physically, and emotionally. Pets are a constant loving companion for seniors, often reducing loneliness and depression. Most people love their pets dearly, but for seniors experiencing isolation, their pet may be their only source of companionship and emotional support. Pets also provide other benefits for seniors including reduced stress, increased activity, and a sense of purpose. Johanna told us, “I don’t know what I’d do without GG. I tell her everything, and she’s a great listener!”

Your financial contributions and donatations of pet food make a positive impact for the seniors we serve through the Pet Support Program. In an effort to maximize community resources, we have also partnered with the local Humane Society who provides a portion of the pet food we supply. Milestone coordinates the program and utilizes the delivery system we have in place with our Home Delivered Meals. We have a volunteer program that manages the donated pet food supplies and monitors our inventory. Milestone has been so successful in managing our Pet Support program that we were designated as a Cohort Leader by Meals on Wheels of America to mentor other agencies in establishing their programs. The Pet Support Program is a great success for everyone.

October 16, 2023