Pets providing life companionship to seniors

Posted on Thursday, 29 January 2015

Canterbury League Club has continued its long-time support for the RSPCA’s Pets of Older Persons (POOPs) program with a donation of $10,000.

Endearingly titled POOPs, the program is targeted towards assisting socially isolated elderly citizens and palliative care patients with the care of their pets. Under this program, numerous services are provided including veterinary services, emergency pet care in boarding and foster homes, grooming and the supply of pet food.

The program services over 300 regular clients in the Sydney Metropolitan area who are often referred to the program from hospitals, social workers, RSPCA inspectors and community service organisations. These clients are often individuals who benefit the most from pet companionship and yet are least likely to have pets due to age and financial circumstances.

One such POOPs client is 74 year old Gordon and his pet companion Soxy, a 17 year old cattle dog. The two are inseparable since Gordon lives by himself and leads a very isolated life.

Gordon has greatly benefitted from the services provided under this program since 2012. On the occasions when he needed to go to hospital, Soxy was picked up from Gordon’s property and boarded at the RSPCA Sydney Shelter in Yagoona. When the time came for Gordon to enter into aged care, Soxy was eventually rehomed with Gordon’s family to ensure their friendship would continue.

At present, the POOPs program receives no government funding and is reliant upon donations, fundraising and grants to continue to provide for those in need. This is the third consecutive year Canterbury has supported this program.

“Canterbury has a long tradition of supporting the RSPCA because of their amazing work in our local community – and POOPs is exemplary of this. Not only does the program ensure the quality of life for the pet, it also attempts to improve the quality of life for our seniors,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.