The SASSY Program (Shelter Animals + Seniors + Supportive Youth) was formed in 2008 with a mission to enable seniors to lead more fulfilling and productive lives by creating and strengthening relationships with pets.
Despite the many benefits that come with pet companionship, seniors often reach a point where they feel that they can no longer meet the needs of their pets or feel that they cannot adopt. They might be limited in mobility, or no longer able to walk or bath their pet. They may no longer have a car which makes it difficult to get food, supplies or veterinary care. SASSY initiatives help seniors maintain their relationships with their pets.
BECOME A SASSY MEMBER
SASSY program initiatives include the following:
Although many retirement centers allow residents to have small dogs, many seniors have to give up their pets when they move. Because we know that “once a dog lover, always a dog lover”, SASSYangels was created. SASSY volunteers take senior dogs on regular visits to retirement and assisted living centers. While the dog greets and sits with the residents, the volunteer reads pet stories. In one instance, a resident who had not spoken for two years reached down to a dog and said very clearly “Hello doggie.”
SASSYmeals For many seniors, their pet is their lifeline. When unable to provide nutritional pet food for their companion, they will share their own meal with their pet. The pet eats inappropriate food and the human does not get the needed nutrition. SASSY’s partners, such as Meals-On-Wheels and other community programs, deliver pre-packaged single-meal pet food packets, prepared by SASSY volunteers, to qualified seniors. We are proud to partner with Treats Unleashed to provide meals for SASSYmeals.
SASSY realizes the financial burden that pet medical emergencies can cause, especially for seniors on a fixed income. Many have budgeted the maintenance medical care (shots etc.) of their pet but have not allowed for emergencies. Recipients of these funds are identified by a Great Plains SPCA veterinarian as responsible senior pet owners. The senior is not faced with relinquishing their companion and the pet receives needed medical care.