Grant helps PSR expand access to veterinary care

Published 12:43 pm Sunday, November 13, 2022

It can be hard for seniors to juggle the cost of veterinary care, with other bills piling up. But a new grant will help Piedmont Senior Resources (PSR) help with that. The group announced on Friday, Nov. 4 it received a $7,500 Meals on Wheels Loves Pets grant to help expand access to its Pet Love Veterinary Assistance Program. The operation provides support directly to pets of Meals on Wheels clients.

As adequate veterinary care can often be a financial and physical challenge for seniors to manage on their own, the funding will be used to support expanded efforts in providing preventative care, vaccinations, and more while building partnerships with local veterinary practices.

“With our clients being homebound and many socially isolated, their beloved pets are sometimes their only companionship” stated Nikki Dean, Nutrition Program Coordinator and lead for the PSR Pet Love Program for Piedmont Senior Resources. “In order to honor our PSR mission to keep our older clients healthy and independent in their homes, we have to help ensure that their beloved pets are able to receive the same care.”

“We have found that when our drivers deliver meals to some of our homebound clients, they find their meal trays on the floor near where pet food should be,” said Director of Nutrition and Transportation Thomas Jordan Miles III. “Their pets are often just as important to them as their children, and this program will result in their furry companions having healthier lives, which will have a positive effect on our clients’ happiness, combating loneliness. The agency is so thankful for this meaningful opportunity from Meals on Wheels of America and PetSmart Charities.”

Funded through a partnership

Funding for this grant was made possible through a partnership between Meals on Wheels America and PetSmart Charities as part of Meals on Wheels America’s strategic effort to combat social isolation and loneliness among seniors across the country. This year, Meals on Wheels America is specifically seeking to expand its Meals on Wheels Loves Pets grant making in an effort to address existing service gaps and facilitate pet care for more seniors in need and will distribute $1.1 million in funding to local programs by the end of this year.

“Pets are vital social companions for many older adults and can have a significant positive impact on their physical and mental health and well-being,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “With this generous funding from our partners at PetSmart Charities, we can invest in the creation and growth of critical pet assistance services in the communities that need it most, ensuring seniors and their pets can live happy, healthy lives together.”