It’s always great when organizations team up to help a certain group that may be flying under the radar. Such is SPAN. No, not SPAM. . . SPAN (Seniors’ Pet Assistance Network). Its mission is “to serve the needs of Dallas low-income seniors 67 years and older through basic veterinary care and pet food.”
It started back in 2006 when Senior Source staffers started seeing “many of their low-income senior clients sharing their meager food supply with their beloved pets. Others were avoiding or delaying their own medical care or hospitalization due to apprehension about what would happen to their pets in their absence.”
Okay, so that may sound silly for folks who purchase designer bags to tote their pets or lavish gourmet foods on their critters, but there are people. . . older people who are literally sacrificing their own needs for their “best friends.”
That’s how SPAN steps in. These partners (Senior Source of Dallas, Advocacy Center for the Elderly, City of Richardson Senior Services, Senior Adult Services of Carrollton, Jewish Family Services and The Senior Net – Richardson) provide
- financial assistance for basic veterinary care — defined as annual shots, preventive heartworm and flea medication. Other veterinary services will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are contingent on available funds.
- easily accessible nutritional needs for companion animals through the Aunt Louise’s Pet Pantry — created in 2009 by a generous donor to honor her favorite aunt who had recently passed away.
But they can’t do it on wishes and good intentions. They need help and you do have the resources to help them. If you can’t make a minuscule donation (and you know you can), you can always provide yourself by:
- driving to deliver food to seniors or pick up and drop off donated food,
- writing letters for grants or to express our appreciation to our sponsors,
- stuffing envelopes, making calls and other basic administrative help,
- inputting client data,
- attending events as a SPAN volunteer and/or
- serving as a board member or chair.
Also, if you know of a senior in need of such services, let SPAN know. Many times the “experienced” members of the community don’t want to impose on organizations for help. That’s why there is the younger generation, like you!