In 2019, PetSmart Charities granted funds to Meals on Wheels America for a three-year partnership to provide home-delivered pet meals and veterinary care to pets of homebound seniors, as well as fund research to assist both organizations in understanding the needs of clients and the barriers that they face. This initiative is the first of its kind to be supported on a national scale and is part of Meals on Wheels America’s portfolio of work to prevent loneliness and social isolation among older adults.
This project presented a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between social services and animal welfare. The purpose of this research included the following:
- Analyze Meals on Wheels client perceptions of pet companionship.
- Analyze the extent to which pet support programs empower socialization and reduce social isolation.
- Offer a profile of Meals on Wheels pet-owning clients.
- Identify pet needs among Meals on Wheels pet-owning households, as well as incidence and barriers to obtaining needed veterinary care.
Meals on Wheels America approached the firm Adisa to conduct research to assist it in gaining a better understanding of the needs of Meals on Wheels clients and their pets. The Adisa team is nationally recognized as leaders in animal welfare, veterinary medicine, and organizational strategy and design, and the principal Adisa consultants on this research project – Heather Cammisa and Dr. Jyothi Robertson – have more than 40 years combined experience in community animal welfare.#AccesstoCare#Behavior,TrainingandEnrichment#OrganizationalManagement