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Eskaton's Senior Pet Program

Aug 04, 2016 05:07PM ● By David Norby
Russ, a retired Los Angeles firefighter and Korea War Veteran, lives in a cottage at Eskaton Village Placerville with Bella.

As Russ, a retired fireman, sits on the couch with his little Chiweenie Bella, a Chihuahua Dachshund mix, you can see the happiness in both of their eyes. This older pup, with a muzzle of white, came to him as a rescue after the passing of his Cocker Spaniel, Dolly. Russ’ friends and family knew he was heartbroken when he lost Dolly, so they urged him to visit the shelter. 

When Bella first came home with Russ, she was nervous and shaking. But it only took her a day to warm up. The relationship the two have developed is incredible to see. When Bella’s wet tongue licks Russ’ hand, it means she wants a special treat. When Russ sits back in his chair with the remote control in hand, it means it’s time for Bella to curl up on his lap and watch a show.

The unconditional love and companionship that pets like Bella bring to their owners, is especially significant when seniors live alone. A four-legged friend ends loneliness by creating an extraordinary loving bond with its owner and, in addition, ends an owner’s isolation by generating opportunities for more social interactions.

A favorite furball also provides important perks that promote health and wellness within the older population. The Perlman School of Medicine says having a pet enriches a senior’s life by providing a natural mood enhancer which, in turn, reduces stress and saves the body from wear and tear. In addition, per the Center for Disease Control, a pet helps keep blood pressure in check and helps lower cholesterol. A pet can be an exercise buddy, too, helping it’s human to improve flexibility and balance through walking and strengthen the legs and core.

Eskaton, a leading nonprofit provider of aging services in Northern California, recognizes the benefits of pets for seniors and welcomes companion animals in its senior living communities. In addition, Eskaton partnered with the City of Sacramento Front Street Animal Shelter to promote a senior pet program. Individuals over 50 years old can adopt a senior dog, five years or older, for $5. The $5 fee includes current vaccinations, spaying or neutering, an ID tag, microchip, and a veterinary visit. For more information, go to

Sponsored content courtesy of Eskaton

About Eskaton

Founded in 1968, Eskaton is now the largest nonprofit community-based organization serving seniors in the Greater Sacramento area. Our dedicated team members provide services and support ...