Pet Haven created an Outreach Committee in 2007. The goals were broad at first. We knew we wanted to reach out to kids to educate them about dog and cat care and urge them to spread the adoption word to their families. Our President, Marilou Chanrasmi and her therapy dog companion Ahnung began to work at The Lab in St. Paul with at-risk kids in 2009. We also wanted to reach out in the community to heighten Pet Haven’s visibility. A committee to reach out to senior citizens boosting the benefits of adopting companion animals was sketched out.
Volunteer Bobbi Gruman, a senior herself, thought it was not only a good idea but a natural fit with some of our overlooked senior dogs and cats. Bobbi put together a comprehensive Power Point presentation and called it Seniors for Seniors. She then began to contact local senior citizen centers.
The response was underwhelming until an invitation came in from the Medica Skyway Senior Citizens Center in downtown Minneapolis. We published advance news in their newsletter and presented the talk on February 23rd. There were a lot of questions and interest in a number of handouts for fostering, volunteering, adopting, resources for help with food, housing and on. Based on the success of this presentation, Sue W., manager of the Edina Senior Center, will also publish advance notice in their April newsletter for our next presentation on May 18th.
Do you know a social or church group of seniors that might be interested in having Bobbi come out and reinforce the known health and emotional benefits of owning and working with companion dogs and cats? Contact Pet Haven Outreach by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and leave your name, group, and a return phone number.