SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Open Letter: Greetings Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly and Managers

By Teri Walker


August 16, 2015
Sunday PM

I am writing to you regarding a concern I have about the elderly population in Ketchikan, many of our elderly are living in retirement homes, or on their own independently - and while we all strive for a little bit of independence, companionship is vital for quality of life. Countless studies have shown that interaction between the elderly and animals provides increases in healthy heart and blood pressure rates, decreases in depression and suicidal thoughts or ideologies. And an overall sense of purpose that many of them are lacking in their twilight years.

As I have spoken with many seniors, and they are as well all can be, lonely and would love to adopt one of the multitudes of cats or small dogs that regrettably end up in our town's shelters. However the exceedingly high costs that associated with adoptions make it an impossible dream. The average adoption costs $164.00, this of course does not include the costs of initial pet supplies such as food, toys, and toiletry items. Then the seniors must pay a deposit at their apartment, or condo associations, which on average can run around $330.00.

As I believe that the elderly can benefit and care for these animals as well as my children can, I do not think it realistic that we continually deny them the option of adoption because they do not have the standard start up capital needed for such a purchase.

I implore you explore the option of reduction costs for adoptions for seniors, and the possibility of donating small start up kits, as well all would like to see less abandoned pets scooped up from boxes on the side of the road and reductions in animal destructions.


Teri Walker
Ketchikan, Alaska

Received August 13, 2015 - Published August 16, 2015


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