Senior Pets for Senior People offers affection and attention for all

Monday, July 18, 2016, 1:39 pm
By: 
Karessa Wheeler

Above: Linda Saloff, 69,  of East Lansing had never petted a kitten before because of a lifelong fear of cats. She overcame that fear at the Senior Pets for Senior People event Friday, stroking three-month-old Letty as she was held by Sydney Babcock, 16. 

Linda Saloff is 69 years old and for every single one of those years, she has been afraid of cats. Not allergic, not ambivalent, but fearful. Until today.

The East Lansing resident came to the Senior Pets for Senior People event at the Hannah Community Center specifically to overcome her fear of cats. And with the help of patient volunteers and a few sweet kittens, Saloff petted her first cat. And her second cat. And eventually, even played with a kitten.

“Just shows that you are never too old to get over a fear,” she said. “Now I’m not ready to hold one yet, but I’m pretty happy I was able to pet one.”

Linda’s story is not the usual one that Connie Page hears as she brings animals from the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter to senior centers around the region. Page wrote the grant for the Senior Pets for Senior People in hopes of connecting older people with pets who need a home. She doesn’t expect the animals to all find homes but she hopes the interactions are good for both the pets and the people.

“It’s mostly just for fun,” Connie said. “If we get an adoption, that would be delightful but otherwise, we are just here for a good time.”

The group brought three dogs to Hannah Center Friday – Wilbur and Izzy, both five years old, and eleven-year-old Boots. And on the other side of the classroom was a line of cages filled with nine cats ranging in color, size and age from three frisky kittens to a pair of siblings – Superman and Bigglesworth – who are both 15 years old and hope to stay together in a new home.

“We are hopeful that someone with goodness in their heart will give these two a couple years in a home. I would hate to see them live out their lives in the shelter,” Connie said.

More information can be found about the pets available for adoption at the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter at: www2.ingham.org/acAdoptions/

http://www2.ingham.org/acAdoptions/

Above: Sandy Barringer of Lansing takes Wilbur, a 5 year old Mastiff, for a quick walk during the Senior Pets for Senior People event at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center Friday.

Above: Jasper is a 1-year-old male domestic medium hair cat available for adoption at the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter. 

Above: Rita Berens of Lansing Township snuggles with Bobby, who is available for adoption at the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter.

Above: Jasper shakes hands with a visitor at the Senior Pets for Senior People event Friday at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center. Jasper is available for adoption at the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter. 

Above: Bobby, a  domestic shorthair cat, enjoys getting his chin scratched at the Senior Pets for Senior People event Friday. 

Above: Siblings Bigglesworth and Superman are both 15 and need to be placed in a home together.  

Above: Volunteer Kathy Watters of Mason cuddles Boots, an 11-year-old Havanese dog, at the Senior Pets for Senior People event at the Hannah Community Center Friday.

Above: An Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter volunteer cuddles Jasper at the Senior Pets for Senior People event at the East Lansing Hannah Center.

 

 

 

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