Are therapy animals the answer to homeless animal populations and high medical costs?

Chloe Rhae, Patricia Rhae, COlette, Jennifer VanDyke

Chloe is a needed companion for Patricia Rhae.

Animals are needed by many people for therapy. Animals don’t judge. Animals provide companionship, acceptance,  unconditional love, emotional support and entertainment; yet, it’s more difficult than ever to find living quarters which will allow tenants to have an animal without a prescription outlining reasons as to why he or she may need a service animal. Some conditions, such as blindness, are quite obvious; however, what of mental or emotional conditions? What of the elderly people who are accustomed to having the ongoing companionship of their now deceased spouse? They too have emotional needs which must be met somehow because their lives are lacking that relationship. Elderly people often need various other prescriptions which may conflict with some anti-depressants or other psychiatric drugs meant to ease the pain of loss, not to mention the fact that the majority of elderly people are on fixed incomes and are forced to choose between buying food or medication.
It’s my belief that people who need service animals, especially elderly people, deserve a break. As a pet owner, I can personally attest  to the fact that I depend on my animals just as much as they depend on me. Additionally, provisioning for therapy animals such as veterinary expenses, leashes, treats, and food ought to be covered as a write-off  for people who are aged 60 or above. In the long run, the cost of  a therapy animal is considerably less than the cost of psychiatric care. Therapy animals have the potential to prolong independent living; thus, reducing the the problem of overcrowded nursing homes.
This could also increase the need for services of businesses designed to help with yard cleaning, pet grooming, and reduce the homeless animal population. It would also help reduce the homeless animal population. What do you think?

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