Senior Paw Project, honoring Sandy Hook victim, expands to Litchfield County


LITCHFIELD – The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary will now ensure that older residents of Litchfield County can keep their pets.

The shrine was established in 2013 in honor of Catherine Hubbard, who was one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Her mother, Jennifer Hubbard, said her six-year-old daughter loves animals.

“She didn’t distinguish between animal types,” said Hubbard, who is the sanctuary’s executive director. “The sanctuary would be a place where adults could see their own beauty in the eyes of the animals they encounter there. He is truly representative of Catherine. Her love and commitment to caring for any animal that was among her.

The non-profit organization offers a variety of educational programs, but has recently focused on expanding its Senior Paw project, which helps senior residents keep their pets through a number of support. The non-profit organization has extended the project to Litchfield County and will serve the towns of Bethlehem, Kent, Roxbury, Washington, Cornwall Bridge, Canaan, New Milford, Norfolk and Torrington.

“The Senior Paw Project honors the bond that exists between seniors and their pets,” Hubbard said. “For the older adult, owning a pet gives them a sense of purpose and a sense of companionship.”

Hubbard said the program works with service providers in cities to identify residents who may need support. In some cases, they found that pets hadn’t had vet visits for three years. They’re working with a mobile vet to remove a mobility barrier that could have prevented someone from bringing in their pet for vaccinations.

“Here’s a vet who comes to homes and can assess the situation and provide wellness care to the animal,” Hubbard said. “In some cases it’s heartbreaking because their only companion is their pet, so now that they have another human in their home talking about their love and the direction of their life, they brighten their day. It’s light in a somewhat isolated world.

The project also offers financial support to residents who may struggle to afford pet food. They will also go out of their way to make sure a pet is theirs for the owner if they need a hospital stay.

“If needed, we are able to determine if that senior needs surgery or rehabilitation,” Hubbard said. “We have a small foster network that will help take care of their pet, so that person has their pet at home.”

Hubbard said now is the time to expand, as the nonprofit’s goal is to ensure that every time they bring in a new pet, they’ll be able to keep going. to provide all necessary care. She said a donation of $500 is usually enough to provide support for a pet for the rest of its life.

“Once we felt like we had all the pieces we had built, we could commit to providing care for more pets,” Hubbard said. “Our biggest concern is to commit to supporting an animal and that we can provide ongoing support. I’m delighted to be able to say where we are in a position where we do that. It is a big problem to have to know that our services are needed.

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