Puppies, Newspapers, & a Winning Collaboration: CCSPCA Animals & Seniors Heal Together
Pat Parnell sits with her dog Coco Chanel next to a stack of donated newspapers.
As a result, local shelters receive around 1,200 papers a month from the senior center.
Since this first initiative, it has sparked some inspiration between the shelter and the senior living center for other partnership opportunities. Animal therapy is among the programs included in this collaboration.
Plenty of studies have shown the health benefits between good health and positive animal interaction. It also benefits vulnerable animals, and seniors in need of some love. It's a mutually beneficial program, and it's been incredibly successful so far.
We were able to get in touch with Melissa Sanders, Lifestyle Enrichment Manager at The Terraces’ health center, and learn a little bit more about these great programs, as well as things we can do as a community to help them thrive.
Tell us a little about the collaboration between The Terrace and the CCSPCA. When and how did it get started?
In June 2016, we contacted our local CCSPCA about having one of their volunteers and dogs come in monthly to provide visits with our community’s skilled nursing residents. They were happy to help, and started sending Thalia and her rescue dog Pequeña (or Becky) for monthly visits.
What are your goals for the collaboration and where do you see it heading?
- Continue to increase our newspaper donations.
- Form a CCSPCA volunteer club on campus. Residents and team members would be encouraged to participate in training, and volunteer on-site at the CCSPCA to provide one-on-one time with the animals. The purpose is to help these animals adjust to human contact and prepare to be adopted with plenty of TLC
- Challenge other communities in a quarterly donation drive. These drives would feature items such as blankets, towels and toys. The first challenge will be extended to other senior living communities in March.
What has been the overall impact so far? Has it been a positive thing?
What's been one of your most memorable moments so far?
As I spent the morning trying to find places to put them all, residents continued to stop by. They had a good laugh when they saw the amount of donations, and I started piling up my desk.
I had to make the delivery on the fourth day and come up with a new system.
It all started with the “Papers for Puppies” initiative. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
How people can get involved?
To learn more about what you can do to help, and more about these amazing programs, contact Ben Green at 913-754-2372 or firstname.lastname@example.org.