Centennial Senior Center visitors and man’s best friend and other animals will get to know each other quite well over the next few months, thanks to a new project announced recently.
Senior Center participants recently had a chance to enjoy “Coffee with the Critters,” as they were matched with pets brought in by the Concord-Merrimack County SPCA. This new initiative allows those who are unable to have their own animals the opportunity to spend time with and bond with pets at the senior center, with the hope that some may in turn want to adopt a pet, providing both owner and pet with much-needed love and support.
“This is a wonderful project that provides our seniors with the chance to experience the joy associated with interacting with pets,” said Centennial Senior Center Executive Director Vivien Green. “The Merrimack County-SPCA is an amazing partner and we look forward to visits from their staff and our new furry friends who provide such great emotional support.”
The SPCA is dedicated to caring for abandoned and homeless pets, protecting and advocating for pets in need, and promoting the humane treatment of all animals. As part of its bank of programs and services, it offers a pet therapy program in area hospitals, nursing homes and other caring facilities so that all may experience warmth, love, companionship and acceptance through visits with, and hopefully ownership of, animals.
“Scientific research shows that pets can make us both happier and healthier, so it only stands to reason that we would find every reason to create smiles,” said Concord-Merrimack County SPCA Executive Director Heather Farrier. “Animals and humans have long shared a special bond and programs like this are a great demonstration of the healing power of this interaction.”
Diane Callahan of Concord spent a great portion of the recent “Coffee with the Critters” event patting a kitten, remarking that she is already the proud mother of three cats. She certainly didn’t need to be sold on the benefits of the new program.
“It’s important that people realize the need for pets to have a home to go to and it helps everyone,” said Callahan. ??I have a friend in her eighties who has an older pet cat, and let me tell you, that cat’s her life.”