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As you will know from our recent campaign (The Miracle of Pet Companionship), here at Vetsure we are keen to explore the benefits of the relationship between pets and their owners. That’s why we were so pleased to hear from Jenny Stephany who saw our campaign and contacted us to discuss her initiative, Positive Connections.
In a similar way to us, Jenny had identified there was a clear need for further investigation into ways to sustain the special relationship and that there were opportunities to promote the benefits of the relationship in the wider community.
Working with a small group of animal and human third sector organisations, vets and GP practices as well as volunteers in the Pinner and Hatch End neighbourhood, north west London which is running a pilot project, Jenny has tested two types of intervention for people in the over 70 age range – ‘Maintenance’ and ‘Match Up’. Maintenance allows older people to continue to live with their beloved pets and provides support for practical tasks, such as flea & worming, exercising, transport etc. Match Up aims to develop new relationships between people and animals which could be on a spectrum from pet adoptions to long term (supported) fostering. The underlying aim is to enable the special relationship to continue for as long as it is mutually beneficial.
The case study below highlights the various benefits of the Match Up service:
“A lady who had recently lost her dog (aged 8) was referred by the local vet for assistance in finding a suitable ‘successor’. The lady was a pensioner, and very keen to find a suitable successor of the same breed. However she had no car or access to the internet.
Support from the companion animal support programme was given to enable an internet search and some calls to be made which resulted in the identification of a 4 year old dog available from a local rescue centre. The lady was assisted with transport to and from the rescue centre and is now the new owner of the dog (see picture). She continues to be a client of the referring vet.”
Jenny is now moving to the next stage and, with our assistance, is gaining valuable insight into the demand for the Positive Connections services via feedback from Vets, Nurses and Receptionists in our network. Keep a look out for further updates on this exciting initiative soon………