A new pet program for seniors will provide older Queenslanders with greater companionship and quality of life by helping them adopt and care for a furry friend.
Animal Welfare League QLD ‘s Golden Hearts Seniors Pet Support Program was officially launched in Brisbane last week with the healp of Ambassador Ita Buttrose AO OBE and Minister for Seniors, the Hon Coralee O’Rourke MP .
AWLQ CEO Denise Bradley says owning a pet in your senior years is an excellent source of companionship and anticipates Golden Heartswill encourage the elderly to adopt a pet with confidence knowing the AWLQ will care for their animal should they need help.
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“Owning a pet reduces depression and places a buffer against social isolation in senior years. Golden Hearts will help with emergency accommodation, veterinary discounts and will assist the owner if they are no longer able to care for their pet.
“Research indicates that people over the age of 65 are the least likely age group to own a pet yet in many ways are the age group that has the most to gain from pet ownership,” Ms Bradley says.
As an advocate for seniors in the community, Ita Buttrose was delighted to join Golden Hearts as an ambassador and knows the program will greatly benefit senior people living alone or without family.
“I’ve come to realise the loneliness and isolation facing our elderly citizens and how owning a pet can relieve these issues. I am proud to be an ambassador of Animal Welfare League QLD’s Golden Hearts and look forward to being a part of its success,” Ms Buttrose says.