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Event Celebrates Arizona Seniors and Their Pets

PHOTO: The quality and companionship that pets can add to the lives of Arizona seniors is the focus of an event this week in the Phoenix area. Photo courtesy of AARP Arizona.
PHOTO: The quality and companionship that pets can add to the lives of Arizona seniors is the focus of an event this week in the Phoenix area. Photo courtesy of AARP Arizona.
April 22, 2015

PEORIA, Ariz. - The bonus benefits that man's best friend can add to the life of an older person are being celebrated at an event coming up Thursday and Friday in the Phoenix area.

AARP Arizona and the Arizona Humane Society have teamed up to host the Paws for Your Pets Festival. Cynthia Fagyas, communications director with AARP Arizona, said they're planning a one-stop shop for dog vaccinations and other services.

Pets can improve our quality of life, Fagyas said.

"There's a lot of positive outcomes with seniors who have pets," she said. "Pets can actually decrease feelings of agitation in seniors. We've seen decreases in memory loss, and a decrease in, actually, the feelings of loneliness too."

Fagyas said this is the first time AARP Arizona and the Humane Society have collaborated on an event. The "Paws for Your Pets Festival" will be held at the AARP Arizona state office on North 83rd Avenue in Peoria.

Dog training, a mobile shelter with pets available for adoption and pet-grooming services will be available, said Bretta Nelson, public relations manager for the Humane Society. People also will be able to have their pets microchipped, which Nelson said has revolutionized the ability to find lost pets.

"One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime," she said, "and the chances of them getting returned without that microchip is really slim to none."

Nelson said microchips and vaccinations will be available while supplies last.

The "Paws for Your Pets Festival" is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Nelson said discounts on these services are available for people age 50 and older.

Festival information is online at azhumane.org.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ