Older Shelter Dogs Provide Companionship For Senior Citizens

Founders of the group that provides the dogs got their inspiration from an 11-year old girl.

Living in a nursing home can be lonely. Unless you have friends or family who visit, the lack of companionship can be depressing.

A group of nursing home staff the Youngstown, OH area recognized that, and did something about it.

They formed an organization called Three Wishes for Seniors Granted, basing it off one of our favorite Sparkt good-deed-doers Ruby Kate Chitsey.

Mary Kate Chitsey started the first Three Wishes chapter.

You might remember Ruby Kate from our story last year. When the then- 11-year old realized residents at the Arkansas nursing home where her mom worked were going without things we take for granted, she started Three Wishes for Ruby's Residents to grant their wishes.

Meet the Girl Behind a Movement to Make Life Better for Seniors

We covered Ruby Kate when she came to Pittsburgh last year to be a keynote speaker at a meeting of senior ombudsmen. Kristin Demidovich and Lexie Martinelli, fans from Ohio, came to meet her too.

Kristin, Ruby Kate, Ruby's mom Amanda and Lexie

Kristin and Lexie left vowing to start their own Three Wishes chapter. They partnered with friends Shelly Marlowe and Jane McMurchy and they've done it! Their chapter has a big focus on providing companionship to seniors in nursing homes by bringing in older dogs from a local rescue shelter. Kristin explains:

Kristin says pairing senior citizens with senior dogs has been a blessing, not only for the nursing home residents, but for the pets, a number of whom have been adopted as a result of their weekly visits.

Shelter dog Lucky was about to be put down. Now he's living the life at a nursing home.Three Wishes for Seniors Granted Facebook

One dog, Lucky, was adopted by one of the homes as a permanent companion to their residents. "We cannot tell you the joy that [bringing in the dogs] has brought," said Kristin.

How can you start something good?

If you're inspired by what Ruby Kate and Kristin and her crew are doing, why not consider starting your own "Wishes" chapter? Click here to find out how to get started.

You could also support the others in their efforts to make a difference for seniors:
*Donate to Three Wishes for Seniors Granted in Youngstown by clicking here.
*Donate to Three Wishes for Ruby's Residents at her GoFundMe.
*Donate to support Animal Charity of Ohio, the rescue shelter that supplies the visiting dogs.
*Purchase the Three Wishes quartz bracelet and "Lucky" necklace specially designed by Oily Jewelry to benefit the Youngstown chapter.

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