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Hall shelter pairs older pets with older people

Animals make good companions, fit seniors' lifestyles

POSTED: November 27, 2010 12:35 a.m.

The Hall County Animal Shelter has created a program that will bring together older pets and older people.

"We were just thinking of ways to try to encourage people to try to adopt some of the adult animals," said Cindy Langman, program coordinator for the animal shelter. "The puppies and the kittens seem to move very quickly. Everyone seems to be looking for the younger ones."

Langman said she thought some of the older dogs could be good companions for seniors and fit into their lifestyles.

"I was reading online about senior citizens and older dogs and how they seem to be a good match for each other because a lot of times the older dogs will maybe be trained to a certain extent. They're not as high maintenance as some of the puppies, and they're not as active," Langman said. "I thought with the age-restricted communities that we have in Hall County, we have a good population and demographic in place."

Langman said the shelter will offer a
discount on the adoption fee for dogs 5 and older to people older than 60.

"Instead of the normal $65 it will be $50 and include all of our normal services, so the animals will be spayed or neutered, have their rabies shot, first round of shots, de-worming and we would microchip, " Langman said. "This will be an ongoing program; there wouldn't be a time limit."

Langman said she has presentations set up to at senior communities Lanier Village Estates and Smoky Springs, where she will bring some of the pets with her and talk to residents about the program.

Langman said she believes senior citizens can benefit greatly from having a dog or cat.

"The companionship is big. For some of the seniors living alone, to give love to and receive love back is very rewarding," Langman said. "If you're a little depressed, a little sad, it gives you a purpose and a goal. You wake up in the morning and you have this other living thing to care for. So I think it's motivating in many ways, very therapeutic."



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