The grants provide support to senior pet owners who need access to veterinary care
Meals on Wheels announced that through its Meals on Wheels Love Pets Grant – powered by PetSmart Charities—in 2022, it has distributed $509,000 in grants to more than 60 Meals on Wheels programs to help expand access to veterinary care for pets of senior clients.
"We know that the human-animal bond is powerful for keeping older adults happier and healthier, and we want to do all we can to remove hurdles that might get in the way of seniors and their pets aging at home together," said Ellie Hollander, president, and CEO of Meals on Wheels America.
"Through the continued support from our trusted partner, PetSmart Charities, we're able to help expand access to vital veterinary care for Meals on Wheels clients and ensure that older adults can more easily secure the exams, vaccinations, dental care, and other critical services their animal companions need," she continued.1
Although veterinary care is crucial to help support pet's health and survival, older adults sometimes suffer from financial constraints or limited mobility, making obtaining care for their pets challenging. The grant program provide support to receiving program's abilities to help improve and get more accessible sick, emergency, and preventative veterinary care.
In a study conducted by Meals on Wheels American and PetSmart Charities,2 findings demonstrated the primary need of senior citizens that are homebound, and their pets is nearly 1 in every 2 clients reported being able to access preventative medicine within the last 2 years. Among all respondents, 86% said the largest barrier they face for their pets is the cost of treatment. The findings within the study fueled both companies to create these grants to help address the challenges and make veterinary care more accessible.
"Veterinary Care access is a challenge for over 25 percent of pet households in the United States, disproportionately impacting vulnerable groups like seniors who rely on their pets the most," said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities. "Through the incredible partnership with Meals on Wheels America, we are able to ensure that thousands of seniors can continue living healthy, happy lives with their furry companions."
Along with these grants, the Meals on Wheels Loves Pets grant program will also donate another $591,000 across 2 other grant types making a total award in grants to 1,100,00 by the end of the year.