By: Terry Humerickhouse
Originally published in June 2013 Issue of Houston PetTalk Magazine.
My passion for rescue began when I was 25 and newly married. My wife and I started rescuing Cocker Spaniels in 1985 and I have never looked back. In in our first year of rescue, we saved 14 Cockers and this was prior to the Internet, Facebook, adoption events and other tools used to communicate today.
The idea of rescue really was not mainstream and we saved what animals we could through our own money and time. When my wife passed away in 2003, I began volunteering for Cocker Spaniel Rescue of East Texas and spent 8 years fostering over 300 cockers. In 2010, I helped start Gulf Coast Cocker Spaniel Rescue as a founding board member and I have continued to be committed to the cause and help the rescue grow.
I love Cockers and I love rescue but In March 2013 I resigned from the rescue group to pursue a new passion… Seniors 4 Seniors. I created this organization to crusade for the cause of helping place senior pets with senior citizens and to address the problem of pet ownership for senior citizens on a limited income. It is terribly sad when a senior citizen must give up their pet to enter assisted living facilities and it’s equally disturbing that many of their senior pets are euthanized because they no longer have a home.
When I realized this travesty, I knew I had to take action. Through education via social media, getting the word out at pet-related events, writing for concerned publications like Houston PetTalk and more, I am determined to make people aware of this problem. Did you know that only a few assisted living/nursing homes in Houston allow residents to have a pet? And think about how many people entering those facilities have a pet they must relinquish… often to die.
In addition to affecting change in assisted living facilities rules, many seniors must give up their pets due to low income status. They cannot afford the food, veterinary care and necessities for their pet and as they age and really need the companionship of a pet, they find they must give them up. I am writing this article to ask you to get involved and support my cause, Seniors 4 Seniors.
There are several things you can do:
1. Support programs like Animeals, a charitable organization that takes pet food to those in need: www.imgh.org/meals-on-wheels/animeals-on-wheels.
2. Petition nursing homes to accept pets.
3. Support local charities that offer low cost spay and neuter.
4. Adopt a senior pet.
5. Follow Seniors 4 Seniors on FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/TerryinTexas.
View our website: www.seniors4seniors.yolasite.com.
Seniors 4 Seniors is a referral service to aid area rescues in finding homes for their senior pets and senior citizens in finding a pet. Senior citizens need companionship. Often, their kids are grown, their nest is empty and they’ are lonely. Older pets also need love and companionship.