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New Animal Shelter Program Asks for Help from Senior Citizens

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter will launch the Pets for Seniors program this month.

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter currently has about 100 volunteers and is looking to expand its roster by targeting the county's senior population, according to a recent news release. The shelter will launch its new Pets for Seniors program later this month. 

“Fairfax County seniors have so much to offer in the way of business, communication and animal care skills and experience. They are a wealth of information and support for shelter staff and animals," said Kristen Auerbach, community outreach program manager.

Volunteers at the shelter usually walk dogs, greet shelter visitors, help with community outreach and animal socialization and the fostering programs. The staff at the county shelter also offers group tours for seniors and outreach programs in senior communities and centers.

"We have found that animals have such a strong impact on the quality of life.  Bringing them into senior centers and offering tours of the Shelter are great ways to share the incredible animals we have at the shelter," explained Auerbach.

A special senior orientation and information session for potential volunteers and foster parents will be held at 2 p.m. March 31. The orientation will be followed by a shelter tour for seniors at 3 p.m.

"Older animals make such wonderful companions. They are usually housebroken and past the stage of destroying personal property by chewing or clawing," said Tawny Hammond, shelter director. "They are looking for a warm and loving home to spend the golden years of their lives."

For more information regarding shelter tours, volunteering, programs and adoptions or to RSVP for the Sunday, March 31 orientation and information session, contact Kristen Auerbach at kristen.auerbach@fairfaxcounty.gov or call 703-324-0208.

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