Here is what it's all about!
|(Photo courtesy of flatworldsedge via Flickr)|
Wendy Letchworth, who helps run the program, says it began 13 years ago.
"It was the idea of a volunteer," Letchworth said. "She noticed that many of the seniors who were receiving food through Meals on Wheels were sharing the food with their pets. The concern was that the seniors weren't getting the food and nutrition that they needed because they were concerned about feeding their pets.
"The SPCA met with MOW in the three counties we service and the Chow on Wheels (now known as Pet Food Xpress) program was born."
Volunteers deliver food around once a month to the seniors with pets in three Central Florida counties: Seminole, Orange and Osceola.
But that's not all they do.
"The volunteers drop off food and sometimes visit with their senior," Letchworth said. "Occasionally, they help transport the senior's pets to our clinic for their annual vaccinations and exam, if they can't drive or don't have a friend or family member to bring them."
How many pets do they help. Letchworth says about 260 pets are helped, belonging to 130 seniors.
So, how can you help?
Pet Food Xpress is always in need of 3 to 5 pound bags of dry cat and dog food, and also cat or dog treats. You can also donate money to help pay for the medical needs of those senior pets. And you can help by becoming an SPCA volunteer.
There are lots of programs all over the country that help seniors with pets. Numerous studies have shown that pets are very important in helping seniors stay healthy and active. And, as we all know, they provide lots of love and comfort.
Here are a few programs that help pets and seniors. You can contact them to find ways to help in your community.