“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains awakened.”
– Anatole France
Most people love animals. Cats, dogs, birds, fish, guinea pigs, even a lizard or two—we all love to have our friends from the animal kingdom involved in our lives. And as much as we love to have pets around us in all other stages of life, it’s just as important that we are able to maintain our status as pet owners even as we enter those retirement years and select a senior community.
In case you think this is pure conjecture and sentimentalism, there is plenty of data to back up the importance of pets in seniors lives. Pet sales and adoptions to and by the senior citizen crowd skyrocketed in 2020, with adoptions almost tripling over the last six months of the year. Some animal shelters that would see 3 to 4 adoptions a month were seeing 10, 12, even more, as people of all ages flocked to add another addition to their family. More than 40% of that bump in animal adoptions have been specifically attributed to seniors. Both local shelters and national pet adoption databases such as the PetSmart Charities adoption center saw this large uptick, and even with the challenges that came with this spike (such as issues with getting animals to their new parents) more pets than ever found new homes in 2020.
At Pacifica Senior Living, we’ve been ardent advocates of pets for years, but even as we faced challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has presented, we remain proud to be communities where pets aren’t just welcome, but a vital component that enables our residents to continue to enjoy rich, purposeful lives. All of our communities are pet-friendly to one degree or another, with cats and dogs welcome in nearly all of our communities, and some even have special and specific pet care stations in case they need a bath or a treat.
Additionally, several of our communities have long utilized pet therapy programs and include them in their monthly programming for our residents. We’ve had everything from cats and dogs to horses come and visit our residents and bring with them the brightness and cheer than only an animal can provide. At Pacifica Senior Living, we know how important contact with animals can be, so we are continuing to find more ways to bring them into our communities and into the lives of our residents (and taking tons of adorable pictures with them too!). And though we know the COVID-19 pandemic will come to a close sooner rather than later, we have no intention on cutting back on the pets and animal friends we bring into our communities, because pets just always make a house feel more like a home.
If you’d like to learn more about the pet-friendly communities Pacifica offers or the pet therapy programs we provide at many of our communities, click here. We’d love to meet you and your four-legged friends, and we’d love to be your neighbor!