BH offers foster cat program for 55 and older
Bellwether Harbor is beginning a new Seniors for Seniors Foster program to match community members aged 55+ with a cat from our shelter.
The purpose is 2 fold:
To provide companionship and health benefits for the individual through decreased isolation and contact with people in the community and…
To provide a home environment for some of our shelter cats who have become long-term residents of Bellwether.
Benefits to pet ownership have been scientifically proven. Lower blood pressure, less isolation, improved mental and physical wellbeing. Barriers to pet ownership include a lack of access to veterinary care or inability to do routine pet maintenance such as nail trims and topical medications, lack of money to pay for care, and a fear of what happens to the animal if something happens to the owner. This program addresses all of these concerns.
How it works: Individuals apply to be part of the foster program. There is a telephone interview and home visit (to determine any safety concerns for the cat). The applicant then visits Bellwether to meet and be introduced to the cats who are part of the program and to find their perfect match. Then the cat is brought to the individual. Follow up visits are performed monthly to replenish supplies and provide routine medical care such as nail trims and topical medications. Phone check-ins are also part of this and the foster has access to Bellwether staff for questions or concerns regarding animal health and care.
For people who think they cannot afford to adopt a pet, this is an ideal situation because the Seniors for Seniors program assumes all costs for the animal's care. There are monthly visits by the vet tech to do routine medical care and to deliver all the food and litter and supplies needed to care for the cat. All the foster needs to do is provide love and daily care for the animal.
This is considered a permanent foster situation. While in the Seniors for Seniors program, this cat will be removed from the adoption rosters and be considered permanently placed until the foster is no longer able to care for the animal.
There is no cost to the foster homes. All the animal care costs and supplies are being assumed by Bellwether Harbor, with generous support from the Fremont Area Elderly Needs Fund.
Who is eligible: Adults aged 55+ in Newaygo County. There must be no other pets in the home. Participants must agree to in-home visits by shelter staff. The cats are indoor only for their safety and health. There is a 15.00 participation fee (possibly waived).
In exchange, Bellwether Harbor provides routine medical care, supplies (food, litter, bedding, toys, etc)