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New pet contingency plan for senior citizens launches in Colorado
LifePet.Care and Senior Housing Options team up to help secure trusted caregivers in the event these pets are displaced
Pets offer a sense of purpose through responsibility and also provide comfort and love. For senior citizens, pets can be a great source of company, especially for those who live alone. However, senior adults can often have unexpected illnesses, injuries, or conditions that cause them to be no longer able to properly care for their pet. A new pilot project will aim to plan and prepare for any of these unexpected events and make sure the pet is placed in a caring, trusted home.
LifePet.Care is a pet care administration company that oversees the care for animals at the request of owners as stipulated in their estate plan or will. Senior Housing Options is a non-profit organization providing affordable housing to older adults throughout Colorado. Together the 2 organizations have begun the first pilot project to help older adults make a pet contingency plan in case the adult becomes unable to care for the pet either temporarily or permanently.1
According to a release1 from LifePet.Care, trustees have to sign off on the responsibility before the pet owner can name them as their trusted contact in case of an emergency. This trusted person is typically a family member, friend, or neighbor who is willing and able to take on the responsibility of caring for the pet. However, some older adults have outlived many of the people they would trust.
“In these rare cases, we have asked Animal Welfare Association of Colorado where temporary foster homes could be found in cases of emergencies,” said Robert Greene, founder of LifePet.Care in the release. “Seniors in crisis need to focus on getting better and not having to worry about the care of the pets as foster homes are available.”1
Aggressive animals will not have access to the foster service as their pets need to be in shelters with professionals who are trained to handle animals with behavioral challenges. This new program will also provide resident stickers to be placed on each tenant's door indicating that they have a pet. The sticker will have a QR code giving details about the animal, so that first responders may know if there is a pet in the home that is deemed unfriendly or aggressive.
“As a proud parent of a rescue pet, I think this program will be helpful to senior housing managers giving them more guidance on pet care in emergency situations. It will also provide peace of mind for residents that their pets will be properly cared for, in the event that they can no longer care for them,” said Vennita Jenkins, Senior Housing Options CEO, in the release.1
Colorado launches pilot project for seniors with pets. News release. LifePet.Care. April 4, 2023. Accessed April 4, 2023.