President’s Letter – March 2023
Dear RCHS Friends and Family,
As the daughter of a 100-year-old parent, I must admit that I have a “thing” for seniors! They anchor us to the past and teach us how to manage the future. After all, they have seen and survived it all.
So, you should not be surprised to learn that, shortly after I was introduced to a donor interested in a program focused on matching senior humans to senior pets, Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS) developed our Seniors-for-Seniors Adoption Program.
This program helps our community’s seniors rediscover the joys of having a cat or dog in their lives. It places senior cats and dogs (typically over 7 years of age) with senior citizens who are 60 years of age or older. RCHS’s adoption counselors guide the selection of a companion animal that fits into a senior’s lifestyle and housing situation. The adoption fee of $75 is paid out of funds that our donor specifically designated for this Program because he declared, “There is no way that a fixed income should restrict the physical and mental health that adopting a shelter pet can provide to people like me.” Agreed!
Allow me to introduce Paya. She went home last month with her new owner, who is retired and wanted to find an older, mellow companion to go on walks with him. Bob adopted from RCHS before so he knew all about our Seniors-For-Seniors Program, which he said was part of the reason that he came to RCHS on February 5th and left with a 7 ½ year old Hound Mix who was just waiting for him.
There’s the story of Weezy, a 9-year old Chihuahua mix. On a visit to the shelter, Renee saw Weezy before she was available to adopt and fell in love. As soon as Weezy was posted on our website (without a photo because she was so new!), Renee made an appointment and signed an adoption deposit, saying, “I’m 89 and she’s 9. I need that dog as much as she needs me.” So true because our medical team discovered that Weezy (now Missy) had two small mammary masses that turned out to be cancerous. The tumors were removed and, luckily, the cancer had not spread. A moment like that challenged this new love, but couldn’t stop Renee from taking Missy home!
Then there’s Robert who adopted Lychee just after Valentine’s Day. Robert’s cat recently had passed away at 21 years old, and he needed a new friend to keep him company. Lychee’s sweet personality and handsome face won him over, and Robert was thrilled to take home his new lifelong companion.
Francisco, a chubby Chihuahua, found his forever home with Ellen and Paul. They were looking for someone “small and old” to fill the void left by the dog they recently lost. Fortunately, Francisco fit the bill perfectly with his little, grey-muzzled cuteness. Ellen and Paul promised to spoil him rotten. Perfecto!
Just another typical month at the shelter, helping seniors find seniors! Our donor passed away in November of 2021, but I send these senior success stories as they happen to his beloved wife. She wrote, “Thanks Judi, always love these senior adoptions. Warms my heart.” Ours, too!