AARP AARP States Wyoming Advocacy

50 & 5 Animal Adoption Event for Mental Health

animal rescue volunteer

CHEYENNE - AARP Wyoming along with Grace for 2 Brothers have teamed up to bring joy to the age 50-plus community in Cheyenne through pet adoptions. During the month of March AARP Wyoming will cover part of the adoption fees for Cheyenne citizens age 50 and over on pets age five and over adopted through Black Dog Animal Rescue.

“Pets provide both companionship and health benefits to citizens of all ages, but especially those aged 50 and over,” said AARP Wyoming State Director Sam Shumway. “We are happy to be helping our members, and all those over 50 in Cheyenne, find a friend that is right for them.”

The partnership is being done in honor of Mental Health awareness and will be promoted through the month. AARP Wyoming represents its members over the age of 50 statewide, while Grace For 2 Brothers Foundation is an educational organization dedicated to the advocacy of suicide prevention through awareness and education around the state of Wyoming. Suicide rates in Wyoming spike over the age of 60, making AARP Wyoming, Grace For 2 Brothers, and pets, common allies for mental health for those over 50. 

A 2017 study published in the Swedish publication Scientific Reports, found that dog ownership reduced the risk of death for people living alone by 33 percent and cut their risk of cardiovascular-related death by 36 percent. Their chances of a heart attack were reduced by 11 percent.  The study also suggests the risk of death among dog owners in households with more than one person was reduced by 11 percent, and their risk of cardiovascular-related death decreased by 15 percent. 

“Not only are animals good for our health, taking care of a pet increases happiness and encourages us to get out and interact with the world around us so we don’t feel so isolated,” said AARP Wyoming’s Associate State Director Tanya Johnson.

Those Cheyenne citizens aged 50-plus interested in adopting a pet over the age of five should contact Black Dog Animal Rescue to inquire about available animals for adoption. During the 50&5 promotion, a portion of the adoption fees will be waived for people age 50 and over who adopt a cat or dog that is five years old or older. Every adopter is provided with a free wellness exam and 30 days of free pet health insurance at Black Dog Animal Rescue and K9 Training Academy is giving every 50&5 adopter one free training session or $100 off a board and train.

Make a match in March for mental health with an adorable furry friend. For more information, contact Tanya Johnson at or 307-432-5810; Black Dog Animal Rescue, Emilee Intlekofer at or 307-514-4024.

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