As she prepares to go to a senior’s home, 75-year-old Gloria Parsons is hoping to give her cat, Bali, to a new home before she and husband Clifford make the move.
Parsons has had the cat for 14 years, and is upset she’s been left with no other choice than to part with her pet.
“It just breaks your heart to have something you love for all those years and you’re told you’re not allowed to keep it,” said Parsons.
“When you lose an animal you’ve cared for like this, it’s almost as bad as losing a member of the family.”
Parsons says seniors having to give up their animals when moving to a care center is something that’s become all too common.
She made a Facebook post hoping someone would take in the aging cat to save her from being put down. She managed to find a home for Bali in Labrador City.
If that hadn’t panned out, Parsons would have taken the cat to Corner Brook to be put down and cremated. She says despite the cat’s age, Bali is a healthy feline.
“I hoped and prayed someone would take her, so we don’t have to get her put down,” she said.
Parsons told the Northern Pen she’s not looking to place blame on the home she’s moving to, but is hopeful something can be down for other seniors who’ve had to part with their pets.
“I’m not pointing no fingers,” she said. “The point I would like to make is, why can’t government or somebody make ways for senior citizens to have a pet to keep them company? It’s just something that should be looked in to.
“The compassion for animals is my major concern.”
Various studies have been published showing the positive impact pets have on seniors, in both their mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Veterinarian Dr. Katherine Hillestad says research has shown pets can help seniors by reducing depression, lowering blood pressure, and increasing social interaction and physical activity.
Parsons hopes above all that government or some organization can step in to help future seniors who may lose their pets to similar circumstances.
“At our age, to have some kind of pet that keeps you company, a lot of times you don’t have anything else,” she said.