Susan Korowsky — CEO of Pet for the Elderly Foundation (PFE), which covers a portion of adoption fees for seniors, age 60 or older, who adopt a shelter dog or cat from one of the participating PFE shelters — described in the “Talking Animals” interview With the history of the organization, founded in Cleveland in 1992 by businessman Avrum Katz, which became national in 2002.
Korovsky explained that two motivations moved Katz in this direction: feeling sad about the sheer number of animals that fought in shelters (and in many cases, euthanized), and acknowledgment—as an older single man—that living with one or more animals helps ward off Loneliness and isolation in the elderly.
However, Korowsky notes that the philosophical underpinning of PFE is that they have consistently paid a portion of the adoption fee (usually, these days, $50), rather than absorbing the entire cost. Other studies and research that indicate the health benefits of older adults have looked at companionship and other virtues offered through pet ownership.
Noting that PFE currently works with 57 shelters across 35 states, I asked what appeared to be a tiny proportion of state to shelter, and 20 years later, after relocating home, it appears to be a small number of shelters overall – and how this is confusing statistics with PFE’s latest campaign to expand The program is extended to all 50 states.
Korovsky sets the criteria for becoming a PFE shelter, noting that over the past year or so, the organization has expanded the initiative to allow adopters to choose between supported adoptions. or Help cover the cost of veterinary care or pet food for newly adopted animals.