SNAP (Safety Net Assistance Program)
SNAP (Safety-Net Assistance Program) is a cross generational membership program benefiting senior pets at Kansas City Pet Project. SNAP’S mission is to link generations to promote senior pet adoption through medical assistance for senior shelter pets; to support continuing companionship between seniors and their pets; and to identify and raise community awareness of the availability of senior-appropriate animals.
Senior animals are often overlooked in shelters because of their age and fear of medical issues. There are many loving pets taken to shelters because their owners move, can’t afford them or just don’t want the responsibility of an older animal. These wise and loyal animals have usually lived their entire life in a comfortable home and being in a shelter can cause depression and stress. Senior animals make great pets for elderly individuals seeking companionship because they don’t require any training, are usually calm, and are happiest sitting at your feet or sleeping in your bed. Senior pets are also perfect for professionals because they sleep while you are at work and are there to greet you when you return!
Studies show that living with a pet is good for you! Pet owners have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, fewer headaches and are at a reduced risk for heart disease. Owning a pet reduces the number of visits to a doctor by elderly patients. Dog owners exercise more and pets can safeguard against depression and loneliness. Adopting a senior pet can be good medicine!
SNAP Medical Fund
Kansas City Pet Project provides housing for more senior pets than any other Kansas City metropolitan shelter. In 2015, more than 1000 senior pets came through the shelter doors. Senior pets are often surrendered because they are old, or have medical issues that owners don’t want to or can’t afford to deal with. Obviously and for these reasons, senior animals are harder to place in forever homes than puppies and kittens. SNAP feels that these wise older animals should have every chance at a new and loving permanent home. The SNAP Medical Fund is restricted to the medical issues of senior animals who come to KCPP. These might include total body function blood work, dental extractions and periodontal disease, eye disease, behavior assessments and medications. By addressing their medical needs before they are made available for adoption, the animals have a greater chance for a positive future.
SNAP Foster Program
For senior pets that have spent most of their lives in a home, the shelter can be a very stressful and uncomfortable place. KC Pet Project feels that these special animals do much better in a quieter atmosphere with one-on-one attention. Allowing a senior pet to live in your home can be a win-win for both of you. KC Pet Project provides medical assistance and can help with supplies, food, etc. There are also opportunities for hospice fostering to give a shelter pet a loving home to live out the remainder of its life. As a foster parent, you can specify the size and type of animal you are willing to foster.
Youth Leadership Board
What could be better than all ages working together to promote the adoption of senior pets and help maintain the companionship between seniors and their pets? Intergenerational connections enrich the lives of both teens and adults. An exciting component of SNAP is the development of a Youth Leadership Board composed of high school students from 5-10 area schools. They will meet as a group to plan activities and functions that will raise awareness in the community about senior pets at KCPP and raise funds for the SNAP Medical Fund.
To learn more about the Youth Leadership Board, click here.
SNAP Take-Out & Delivery
For many seniors, some without family or regular interaction with friends, their pet is their lifeline! When faced with financial challenges, research shows that seniors receiving meal assistance often share their food with their pets. Sadly, this is not a healthy nutritional solution for either the senior or the pet. SNAP volunteers pre-package individual servings of pet food and deliver it weekly or bi-weekly to food distribution sites and other places where seniors gather.
To determine healthy portions, participating seniors are asked to fill out a form about their pet including weight and age. Information about caring for pets and the importance of vaccinations and microchipping is available upon request.
In the first 2 months of 2017, there were 9,744 meals delivered to food distribution sites in Greater Kansas City.
For more information or to volunteer, contact Barbara Ross: Barbara.firstname.lastname@example.org
Our thanks to Land of Paws for their donations of dog food for this program.
SNAP Membership is open to everyone who loves and supports senior animals! Dues paying members receive a quarterly newsletter, a digital and print membership directory; discounts at KCPP events and on logoed merchandise; 2 membership meetings/year and the knowledge that you are making a difference in the lives of senior pets. Proceeds from dues and other contributions to SNAP go to the SNAP Medical Fund.
Please note: Dues for a yearly membership are $50. Once you complete the form below, a KC Pet Project staff member will reach out to you regarding payment or you can fill out the form and process your payment online by clicking here.
KC Pet Project is the 501c3 nonprofit operator of the Kansas City, MO animal shelter. We care for nearly 10,000 pets a year and have three adoption centers in the metro area. We are the largest No Kill shelter in Kansas City and the third largest, open-admission, No Kill shelter in the United States.
KC Pet Project provides housing for more senior pets than any other Kansas City metro area shelter. In 2015, more than 1,000 senior pets came to our shelter doors. We’re proud to be a safety-net for the pets of Kansas City, MO!