Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows seniors can now get free pet care

All PAWD volunteers are required to have an RCMP background check, including a working with vulnerable individuals check. (Ridge Meadows PAWD Facebook/The News)All PAWD volunteers are required to have an RCMP background check, including a working with vulnerable individuals check. (Ridge Meadows PAWD Facebook/The News)
All PAWD volunteers are required to have an RCMP background check, including a working with vulnerable individuals check. (Ridge Meadows PAWD Facebook/The News)All PAWD volunteers are required to have an RCMP background check, including a working with vulnerable individuals check. (Ridge Meadows PAWD Facebook/The News)

ElderDog Canada, which is a long-running non-profit organization that strives to help elderly pet owners, has now expanded their PAWD program to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

For years, ElderDog has operated their PAWD program in Vancouver, where they help seniors take care of their pets through things like dog walking, trips to the vet, delivering pet supplies, and more. But up until now, they had lacked an established operation in the Ridge Meadows area.

Michelle Larose, rehoming coordinator for Ridge Meadows PAWD, explains that although they’ve wanted to establish a local branch for years, they’ve only just recently been able to do it.

“This year, we finally grew big enough in volunteers and clients to have our own PAWD,” said Larose. “Now instead of being part of the Vancouver Pawd, we are the Ridge Meadows PAWD, providing much needed care for seniors in our community and their dogs.”

READ MORE: ElderDog looking to start ‘pawd’ in Maple Ridge

As part of their PAWD services, the organization rehomes animals in the event that the owners pass away or can no longer take care of them.

“I just finished rehoming two dogs for a senior citizen who passed away,” said Larose. “One dog was a young Mastiff cross and the other a senior Rottweiler cross. Both have found the most wonderful furever homes.”

Through a network of volunteers, Larose explained that PAWD is able to not only improve the lives of the pets, but also their owners as well.

“Sadly we often find seniors will neglect their health and not seek medical attention because they won’t leave their dog,” she said. “We are here to provide that support.”

RELATED: Seniors service report receives mixed reaction from Ridge Meadows Senior Society staff

Anyone who qualifies for the program will be able to take advantage of the pet care services for free, with funding coming 100 per cent from donations.

Larose encourages any dog-owning senior in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows who might need help caring for their pet to contact the organization at info@elderdog.ca or visit https://elderdog.ca/programs/.

Locals looking to volunteer for the Ridge Meadows PAWD program can find more information on the process by visiting https://elderdog.ca/volunteer-roles/.


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