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New program connects seniors citizens with older animals

Three area animal organizations have joined forces to provide companionship to senior citizens and older, ownerless animals.

Steve Benson, from Pahrump’s Happy Acre Sanctuary, said the program is all about connecting senior residents with lonely, adoptable pets.

“The animals are considered what would be in the senior category,” Benson said. “We have many older dogs and cats that are looking for a loving home. We thought about it and came up with this idea called the ‘Senior to Senior, Forever Foster’ program.”

Benson said his sanctuary teamed with Pahrump’s Desert Haven Animal Society and the Nevada Pets Are Worth Saving, (PAWS) organization, roughly four weeks ago.

The program, he noted, is already paying dividends.

“So far, we have adopted out about 14 dogs and two cats,” he said. “All of the animals have been vaccinated and fixed, but senior animals are very hard to adopt out.”

Additionally, Benson said a senior who adopts an animal need not worry about costs related to the care of the animal.

“If your animal gets sick, the program helps out with getting the animals to the vets for you and help with the costs,” he said. “If a senior or disabled person is out of pet food they will take them food. We will foot the bill and provide their food or kitty litter for the rest of the animal’s life. We will also take care of their shots and basic vet needs.”

Benson also said a senior in-home health care agency provides leads to possible pet adoptees.

“We have Valley Home Health and when they evaluate somebody and they find somebody who does not have a pet and is lonely or depressed, they will make that suggestion and let us know,” he said. “We will make the senior happy with what they want, be it a dog or a cat.”

Fundraisers, Benson said, are what keeps the program operating

He spoke of an event happening this weekend.

“This weekend I have a charity event and Desert Haven Animal Society has a rummage sale and then all three of us are having poker runs,” he said. “Every 13 weeks, we are going to do a charity event to fill our coffers again so we can keep going.”

For additional information on the program and poker run fundraiser call Benson at (775) 727-8899, or Peggy Saunders at 775-513-9120.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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