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Animal Update: Senior Pets For Seniors

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Animal Assisted Therapy - A Golden Retriever acts as an assistance dog. (Wikipedia)

Animal Assisted Therapy – A Golden Retriever acts as an assistance dog. (Wikipedia)

Jeff Bell20100908_KCBS_0122r Jeff Bell
A Bay Area native, Jeff is thrilled to be at KCBS, a station he...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Animal shelters tend to get a lot of elderly cats and dogs in their facilities and the San Francisco SPCA is no different. According to the the facility’s co-president, these animals happen to make great companions for senior citizens.

Dr. Jennifer Scarlet said an older, mature healthy cat or dog is usually in pace with the lifestyle of older adults, according to. “Most are already house-trained, ready to sit on your lap and hang out,” she said.

Many of these older animals end up in the shelters due to housing issues.

Animal Update: Senior Pets For Seniors

KCBS Radio

“Sometimes they belong to older people who have been admitted into homes that don’t allow pets. Fortunately we’re beginning to see a trend where more and more assisted-living facilities are allowing pets to come live with their people,” she said.

Scarlett said the human-animal bond is incredibly strong, particularly for older people. “Companion animals can increase our Oxytocin level or feelings of love, lower our stress level and increase our brain activity,” she said.

It sounds like a win-win situation if you’re an elderly person that’s ready for a pet. Dr. Scarlett said the SF SPCA has plenty.

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