Meals on Wheels in Austin has a program to help care for the companion animals of the housebound.
Social interaction and feelings of isolation can be challenging for people with disabilities who often spend a great deal of time alone. The emotional stress and physical pain of being disabled can be overwhelming, especially if faced without family or friends. A special animal companion to count on can be a much needed lifeline for those with mobility issues and having a pet to talk to and care for can make all the difference. Pets are there when others simply cannot be, and the benefit of having a furry friend to hold and touch is both comforting and therapeutic for those who struggle daily with the challenges of disabilities.
Pet ownership is not easy for the disabled.
Animal companions need food, walks, grooming and occasional boarding along with trips to the veterinarian. These tasks can be highly challenging to individuals who a housebound. Finding someone reliable to help care for a dog or cat and concern for the well-being of a loved pet only adds to the daily stress of dealing with a disability.
PALS (Pets Assisting the Lives of Seniors) is a special program created by Meals-On-Wheels of Central Texas to serve seniors and the disabled by delivering pet food and providing transportation for basic veterinary services to the mobility challenged.
According to Heather Allard of Meals-on-Wheels
“A person must be a meal recipient client of MOWCTX in order to be eligible for PALS services. MOWCTX serves elderly and disabled homebound folks who are not able to prepare a hot, nutritious meals for themselves at lunch time and who do not have any other resources in the home, such as a family member or attendant care, to prepare a lunch for them. There is not an age limitation or income limitation. Rather, our services are based on who needs the help. Once an applicant is determined to be eligible for meal services, their case manager will refer them to us for PALS services. It is important to note that there are waitlists for both the meal program and the various PALS services. “
PALS delivers pet food and other supplies every second Saturday of the month to those with four legged friends in need.
PALS can also supply collars, leashes, bedding, toys, and scratching posts when available. Pet food is delivered once a month, but pet owners may request what they need.
PALS also provides assistance when an animal needs veterinary services.
They will take the pet to regular vet appointments, spay/neuter surgery and they will drive the companion animal in for its annual vaccinations. Animals are transported in crates or carriers and advance notice is required. PALS will also pick up the pet and return it to its home after an appointment. This service is made possible though the help of the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and Emancipet.
Pets who belong to disabled individuals often suffer from lack of exercise or socialization.
To help address this issue PALS initiated a program where volunteers are scheduled to come by weekly (or more often) to walk dogs. Families often volunteer together to perform this community service as a way of bonding and teaching children how to care for animals and those less fortunate.
PALS always welcomes donations in the form of money or supplies.
Money can be kindly donated here. Supplies can be dog or cat food, (Purina dog or cat food preferably) cat litter, or new and gently used pet supply items such as collars, leashes, bedding, scratching posts, and toys. Donations may be dropped off at Meals on Wheels Central Texas at 3227 East 5th Street, Monday through Thursday, 8am to 5pm, and Friday, 8am to 2:30pm
Volunteers may offer their services by contacting the PALS Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 512-476-6325.
If you wish to receive meals or pet services please call the main number at 512-476-6325 and ask for “Intake”.
There is also an online Client Interest Form.
The Fair Housing Amendments Act along with the Americans with Disabilities Act protects the right of people with disabilities to keep emotional support animals, even when a landlord’s policy prohibits pets. That information can be found here.
The Pet Food Bank of Austin & Travis County also can supply food for loved pets in need.
Contact email@example.com (512) 288-4480 (512)453-7737
They have a number of donation drop off locations around Austin:
Donation barrel locations:
Bark ‘n Purr – 4604 Burnet Rd, Austin map
Tractor Supply – 1711B W Highway 290, Dripping Springs. 858-7229 map
Whole Pets Market – 911 W Highway 290 W, Dripping Springs. – 858-5400
Healthy Pets – 4301 William Cannon at Arbor Trails. – 892-8848
Just For Pets – 3742 Far West Blvd, Ste 104, Austin. – 342-2220
DLS Feed Store – 13030 W Highway 290, Austin. – 288-5025
Emancipet – 7201 Levander Loop, Buildings I & K, Austin TX 78702 – (512) 587-7729
Taurus Training and Doggy Play Day
Taurus McNeil – 6917 McNeil Dr., just off Hwy 183. – 258-5588
Taurus Metric – 12419 Metric, just south of Parmer. – 832-1012
Taurus Lamar – 715 S. Lamar Blvd, near Barton Springs Rd. – 442-3416
Austin Animal Center
7201 Levander Loop, Austin, TX 78702
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