MILTON, ON, April 19 /CNW/ - While seniors may not know the outcome of the impending Federal election, they can definitely count on the Farley Foundation as the Ontario charity expands its funding to include emergency veterinary care for pets owned by long-term care facilities, retirement homes and supportive housing facilities for seniors. "In January, we surpassed our first $1 million in disbursements to assist nearly 3,000 low-income pet owners with the non-elective veterinary care for the pets that mean the world to them," says Dr. Mark Gemmill, President of the Farley Foundation. "By assisting senior facility pets, the Farley Foundation will help large numbers of seniors, many who count on their daily interactions with these pets as a source of entertainment, companionship, affection and exercise."
Six-year-old Golden Retriever Bella has medical issues that nearly forced residents at Extendicare in Mississauga to give her away. "Soon after Bella came to us she started having health issues," says Melanie Niece, Activation Aide at Extendicare in Mississauga. "She was diagnosed with chronic recurring ecoli in the bladder, requiring medication for the rest of her life. We were devastated. Bella's care comes from Resident Council money which is used for trips and events for our residents. The more we take from it the less the residents have. We thought we were going to have to give her up. This would really crush the residents.
"Dr. Joy Courey from the Animal Care Clinic offered to apply for funding through the Farley Foundation. The clinic does all the work and the Foundation pays for Bella's medical expenses." "We all love Bella," says long-time resident Margaret. "Everybody smiles when she comes in the TV lounge. She is a very friendly, kind and gentle dog. Bella leads me to my room for one of the treats that I have for her. It's a wonderful part of my day and I would miss her if I didn't have her in my life. Whenever we have group programs she always takes part with us." "We are eternally grateful for all that the Farley Foundation has done for Bella and Extendicare Mississauga," says Ms. Niece. "Without them, the seniors we care for would not have the wonderful dog that warms everyone's hearts." (photo of Bella available upon request)
Today's announcement expands the Ontario program which already assists low-income seniors receiving the Federal Guaranteed Income Supplement, disabled individuals receiving either ODSP or CPP Disability, and women at risk of abuse (participants of the OVMA SafePet Program*) by subsidizing the non-elective veterinary care of their pets.
Pet owners who are concerned about their pet's health should consult with their regular veterinarian. Visit www.farleyfoundation.org for full details or to make a donation. Established in 2001 by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, the Farley Foundation assists low-income seniors, disabled persons, and women at risk of abuse (participants of the OVMA SafePet Program*) by subsidizing the non-elective veterinary medical care of the pets that mean the world to them. Veterinary clinics apply for funding on behalf of pet owners. www.farleyfoundation.org
*The OVMA SafePet Program assists women at risk of abuse entering a registered Ontario women's shelter by providing temporary shelter and veterinary care for their pets. www.ovma.org