An Open Heart for Pets
If you’re like the majority of Americans, you probably reside with a four-legged friend, someone who purrs you awake on winter mornings or barks their joy when you jangle a leash. And if you’re like “Charlie” (a longtime anonymous Senior Services supporter), you like to make a difference for others when you can.
About six years ago Charlie learned about an urgent yet hidden need in our senior community: Many low-income seniors cannot afford to pay for routine veterinary care, much less a pet emergency. They often put the needs of their pets ahead of their own, risking their own health and wellbeing.
Charlie has always held a place in his heart for animals. Over his lifetime, many of his pets have found him. He wasn’t out looking, but his open heart (and sometimes open door) helped rescue many lives, including his cats Macduff (bottom) and Rafa (top – see photo). Learning about the needs of low-income pet owners moved him. When offered the chance to make a difference, he made a generous donation, and the Pet Assistance Fund was launched. Since that first gift, hundreds of pets have received pet care, treatment, and food. One pet “mom” sent us a note after her dog underwent surgery: “Thank you for your speedy, kind and generous help to relieve Sandy of her pain. She did need a tooth extracted. We are forever in your debt.”
If you need help
You are eligible for pet assistance if you are age 60 or more, and your annual income is $30,000 or less, please call 360.586.6181 ext 101 or Email resource.advocates@SouthSoundSeniors.org. We want to help. Please note funds are limited and stipends will be awarded while funding lasts.
If you want to help
Here is your opportunity to help low-income seniors and their pets: Charlie will match new gifts to the Pet Assistance Fund on a 1:1 basis, up to $15,000 a year through 2022. If our collective efforts are successful, Charlie will consider funding a Pet Assistance Fund Endowment, in memory of his pets, Macduff and Rafa, to ensure low-income seniors and their pets are helped in perpetuity.
“The Pet Assistance Fund is unique,” Charlie shared with us recently. “It takes care of animals by taking care of the humans who love them, and vice versa. This is especially true of seniors who live alone with pets as their only companions. I decided this is the perfect nonprofit program for me. Where else can you help both people in need and animals in need at the same time?”
How to Give
You are welcome to contribute to the Fund in one of two ways. Make your gift online through our secure donation portal. You can also mail a check to: Senior Services for South Sound, 222 Columbia Street NW, Olympia 98501. Please note in the check memo that funds are to be directed to the Pet Assistance Fund.
If you have any additional questions about ways to give please don’t hesitate to reach out by email to Development@SouthSoundSeniors.org or call 360.586.6181 ext 110. Thank you for your support in addressing this important issue.Donate Now