Sweetwater County pets and their owners are looking forward to the 2019 Care for Critters Campaign, which helps seniors pay for food, vaccines and other items for their pets through donations, as well as funding from AARP Wyoming. This year’s Care for Critters event is scheduled for April 22-May 17.
Starting April 22 The Young At Heart Senior Center in Rock Springs and the Golden Hour Senior Center in Green River will offer citizens age 50 and over financial help taking care of their furry friends. Those, age 50 and over who need assistance with veterinary fees, pet accessories, or pet food may fill out a request sheet and bring them to either Sweetwater County senior center by April 15. Community members willing to donate to the cause can pick up paws or bones at either senior center and bring back the donation by May 17.
Last year, in Green River alone, the program filled out 126 tags, providing over $1,050 in veterinary services, and helping 26 dogs, eight cats, two birds, and one family of fish. In 2017, the Sweetwater County community fulfilled 88 requests in Rock Springs and another 53 in Green River.
Local Campaign Kickoff Includes Free Dinner and Presentation
The Care for Critters campaign gets kicked off April 22 with a kickoff dinner at the Young At Heart Senior Center in Rock Springs. The pot roast dinner will start at 6 p.m., followed by a presentation by Wyoming Game and Fish’s Lucy Diggins-Wold. On May 30 at 11 a.m., the Golden Hour Senior Center will host a french dip sandwich luncheon to celebrate the end of the campaign. Both meals are free, thanks to a grant from AARP Wyoming.
Care For Critters Impacts Social Isolation
The Care for Critters program seeks to battle social isolation, which, according to research presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association , may be a greater public health hazard than obesity.
“Social isolation is a growing epidemic in our communities. Pets have a special way of healing our hearts and motivating us to connect with other people and invest in relationships,” said Tanya Johnson, Community Outreach Director for AARP Wyoming.
Led by AARP Foundation, in collaboration with the Gerontological Society of America , Give an Hour , the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging , and UnitedHealth Group , Connect2Affect is working to end social isolation among adults age 50 and older by fostering a deeper understanding of loneliness and isolation and drawing much-needed attention to the issue.