Friday, October 4, 2013

Seminar for pet owners and the Pets for Life Program

(c) Anne Fawcett
Puppy delivered by caesarian section snuggles with brothers and sisters.
These items aren't related but I wanted to get them out there asap. If you're a pet owner interested in learning more about socialisation of puppies, canine behaviour and preventing cancer in pets, the Animal Referral Hospital is hosting a seminar just for you on Saturday November 9.

Oncology nurse Tanja Richardson will talk about causes and prevention of cancer in dogs while Behavioural Specialist Dr Kersti Seksel will cover dog developmental stages and puppy socialisation. A hospital tour will be offered afterwards. It costs $25. RSVP by emailing

Di Johnstone, secretary of the Pets and Aged Care Steering Group, alerted me to a media report about the Pets for Life Program run through Caloundra Community Centre, Inc. The program, a service available free to local senior citizens, pairs up volunteers with senior pet owners. The volunteers help owners out by walking dogs and helping with pet related tasks (visiting the vet or groomer).

Volunteers help reduce the number of pets surrendered - and the number of old people parted from their pets - by allowing the pet to stay with that owner.

(c) Anne Fawcett
Volunteering to walk and take someone else's dogs to the vet can make all the difference, allowing an elderly or unwell person keep their pet when the alternative is surrender. That helps reduce the number of animals in shelters and it promotes a healthy human-animal bond.
That is the sort of program that every local council should be establishing. It isn't just animals who stand to benefit - Pets for Life reduces social isolation of senior citizens.

(And the issue could prove important during local elections. A survey of Noosa and surrounds residents found that 97 per cent believed the elderly should be able to keep their pets when they go into retirement homes).

You can read more about pets and aged care here and here.