There is no disputing that animals have always had a positive impact on their owners’ lives – old or young.
Pets have been shown to:
- decrease anxiety levels
- lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than non-pet owners
- help overcome depression or loneliness
- encourage active, more energetic life styles
All of these benefits help seniors and those who are mentally and physically disabled establish more active routines and encouraging them to do things they might not normally do – such as getting outside, feeding, grooming or playing with their pet.
Because of the love they share of their pets, sadly, many Meals on Wheels (MOW) of Sarasota clients sacrifice their own nutrition by sharing portions of their meals with their hungry pets. Knowing this fact and that just the presence of a pet provides camaraderie plus unconditional love and affection to those who are otherwise isolated was the impetus for MOW to create PetLOVE in June 2016.
In partnership with the Humane Society of Sarasota County PetLOVE enables homebound, disabled and elderly MOW clients to provide their pets with a healthy diet, even if they are unable to leave their homes to buy pet food.
Every third week of the month, our dedicated volunteers deliver Purina dry dog & cat food (and cat litter) in packaging easy handled by our clients. This partnership allows us to share vital resources in order to meet MOW mission’s needs, caring for people who have pets and need a little extra help providing for them.
As one can imagine, as our client list grows for nutritious meals, so does the need to help their pets. Since June 2016, we have cared for 261 dogs and 313 cats. Mobile vets have been required for services for 16 dogs and 26 cats whose owners have been unable to transport their animals to the Humane Society’s clinic. Costs add up for things such as exams, vaccinations and county registration and tags for rabies and medicine for heart worm, fleas and other parasites.
The original program was underwritten by a grant from Meals on Wheels America through the Banfield Grant and locally through the generosity of The Mary Scharf Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, plus funding from additional anonymous donors. But we need your help to make this program successful.
We see PetLOVE as a win/win program for clients and their beloved pets – protecting our volunteers and enriching the lives of our clients at the same time. MOW accepts donations of cash to purchase pet food, collars, leashes, and animal crates or funds to underwrite the cost of veterinary care.