There’s plenty of evidence that having a pet is good for you – as long as you’re able to look after your dog, cat, bunny rabbit, bird, fish, chook. But what happens if your circumstances change, and you become less able to care for your pet? This can happen for many reasons, but the most likely one is ageing. As we get older, illness or infirmity might make it hard to keep the beloved family pet with you. And what happens when you decide to move into retirement accomodation or aged care? Do you have to give your pet up for adoption, or face the awful decision to have it put down?
A group of people in Cairns have been very actively working to find ways that older people can keep their pets with them – and they’re very interested in a project that has been quite a success at Caloundra, in south east Queensland. The Caloundra Community Centre has started the Pets For Life project – which puts volunteers in touch with older pet owners. The volunteers visit regularly to help look after pets, and also provide regular social contact for the owners.
Tomas Passeggi is in Cairns tonight to discuss the Pets For Life project at a public meeting. He’s the community development co-ordinator at the Caloundra Community Centre. LISTEN to my interview with Tomas here