Colorado State University’s efforts to help low-income elderly or disabled Larimer County residents keep their pets for as long as possible will benefit from a Mother’s Day plant sale from 9 a.m. – noon on Saturday, May 8 at Collinwood Assisted Living, 5055 South Lemay Ave.
The sale will benefit Pets Forever, a non-profit organization supported by CSU student volunteers who visit the homes of elderly pet owners within Fort Collins and Loveland. During these visits, CSU students provide in-home care for the animals such as walking dogs, cleaning litter boxes and bedding, feeding the pets, transporting pets to veterinary appointments or transporting supplies and limited veterinary care.
The plant sale provides children with an opportunity to purchase and decorate a plant for the occasion. They can decorate a plant for mom, grandma or a resident at Collinwood Assisted Living.
“Pets are great companions, especially for older and disabled people who live alone or have limited contact with family and friends,” said Lori Kogan, founder of Pets Forever and a psychologist in the department of clinical sciences. “Elderly people with pets are likely to be more active, have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, fewer doctors’ visits for non-serious conditions, a more positive mental state and are more social than those who do not own a pet.”
Volunteers visit clients’ homes as often as several times a week, depending upon individual needs. Students from all across CSU participate and earn college credit for their time. Students from veterinary medicine, psychology, social work, human development and family studies, biomedical sciences, microbiology and zoology participate in the program.
Studies also show that elderly people with pets are better able to remain emotionally stable during a crisis than those without pets, are less absent-minded or confused. Despite all of the benefits, fewer than 20 percent of seniors own a pet because many worry they will not be able to handle the daily routine of a pet or cannot afford food supplies and veterinary bills.
Pets Forever started last fall and currently serves about 40 people in the Fort Collins and Loveland area.
For more information about Pets Forever or to make a donation, visit www.csuvets.colostate.edu/petsforever.html.