Living a longer life could be as simple as fostering a furry friend.
It has been medically proven that an older person’s quality of life improves remarkably when they take on the responsibility of caring for a cat or dog.
Ten years ago, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published a study that demonstrated that independently living seniors who have pets tend to have better physical health and mental wellbeing than those who don’t. Animal owners are more active, cope better with stress and have better health overall.
So owning a pet has a direct link to the number of years that you could live. It has also been found that the companionship of a pet speeds up the recovery when recuperating from an illness or injury.
Having a pet brings out the natural ability to nurture and love, and seniors get a kick out of having a pet love them unconditionally. It gives the senior citizen a great sense of self-esteem and responsibility while keeping them interested in life. And even patting your dog or cat will release those endorphins (the feel-good hormones) which lowers heart rate and blood pressure.
Still uncertain about taking on the responsibility of a pet?
TEARS is a Pro Life, non-profit animal rescue organization, based in Cape Town. Their core aim is to rescue, rehabilitate, re-unite and re-home lost, abandoned, abused and neglected dogs and cats.
TEARS are offering a new programme whereby, if you are a Senior Citizen, you can adopt one of their senior pets, at no cost. They have many beautiful “Golden Oldies” who would love to have a caring owner and a special home, especially in the last years of their lives. Some of these older cats and dogs have been at TEARS for a long time, and deserve a loving home to live out the rest of their lives.
If your foster or senior pet requires veterinary treatment, this will be covered by TEARS. In certain circumstances, TEARS, at their discretion, will provide dietary requirements.
Many older people would love to have a pet, but are worried what will happen to their pet if they were to pass away. By fostering or adopting an older pet there is less chance that they will outlive you and with TEARS’ policy, they will always take back the adopted or fostered pet if required.
TEARS cares for approximately 300 animals at on a daily basis and provides them with food, water, shelter, veterinary care, exercise and positive interaction with people. They depend on their dedicated volunteers to assist with the running of their shelter and charity shops.
Foster parents are interviewed to ensure suitability, and should you be interested in taking on this role, your home will be visited to ensure that there is compliance with their conditions.
Pet fostering is a challenging, but tremendously rewarding experience. It will enable you to really make a difference in the life of an animal at their time of need.
If you have not had a pet in your home before, then pet fostering can be considered as a test run before fully committing to pet adoption. It is an excellent way of having hands-on involvement with an animal without having to take on the permanent commitment. You don’t necessarily have to have a huge house and acres of land. All that is needed is the dedication, time and commitment to help with these pets.
This is an extremely rewarding, but time-consuming job. As with everything in life, and particularly with animal-related experiences, there will be happy endings and sad stories. But one thing is sure, you will have made a difference!
We, both humans and animals all need to be cared for and loved. Why not give TEARS a call right now and open your heart to a deserving dog or cat. Change their lives and fill yours with love!
Contact the TEARS office on 021 785 4482 for further details.