Food drives for humans are quite common in Colorado as winter approaches, but this month there is an effort under way to support our four-legged friends.
Food drives for humans are quite common in Colorado as winter approaches, but this month there is an effort under way to support our four-legged friends. Collection sites for the Pets Are Wonderful Support (P.A.W.S.) food drive can be found across the Denver metro region. P.A.W.S. provides support for the companion animals of older adults, people with disabilities and those facing life-challenging illnesses. Jeremiah Mora, community outreach director for AARP Colorado, explains why animals are so important to seniors. "We find that it helps out so much with the isolation impact,” he says. “So many people, as they age, become restrictive from going outside, and with a pet we've noticed they get outside more, engage in the community." Donations can be made at several PetSmart stores throughout the Denver area. P.A.W.S. provided $6,000 in veterinary services and 15,000 pounds of food last year. According to P.A.W.S. and numerous scientific studies, owning a pet can reduce illness, stress, depression and even improve heart health. Mora explains how the donation of pet food can make a difference in the life of a senior living on a fixed income. "You're helping individuals who are seniors, who are facing life-challenging illnesses, who are really on a strict budget and these pets are really their only lifeline into their community," he says. More information on the food drive or for seniors needing assistance can be found at pawscolorado.org.