The research revealed other details: in 80% of cases the pet enters the family because it is given by a relative or friend or as a foundling: a percentage around 70%, as far as the dog is concerned, and close to 80% as far as the cat is concerned. Still few people turn to the kennel or cat for adoption. As far as care and feeding are concerned, they mainly turn to the vet, although not constantly. More than 50% also rely on TV, word of mouth or other figures such as the groomer for information.
However, in this positive scenario, there are also some difficulties in preventing adoptions, i.e. difficulties in daily management and during holiday periods (although many people give up their holidays in order not to leave their pet): the elderly would in practice feel calmer as they would be able to share time and effort in caring for their dog or cat with another person and have a more favourable financial situation (e.g. higher pension). And then there is an ethical problem that arises when deciding whether to have an animal with them: the fear of what might happen to them in the event of their departure. According to current legislation, which considers animals to be a res, i.e. an object, they are in fact inherited by relatives and relatives who often do not want or cannot keep them. In some cases, especially in past years, many of these animals were slaughtered or destined to become strays. This is a not insignificant uncertainty that weighs on the choice.
What the ASTA proposes
The main objective of the “After Me” Project is not to leave the elderly person alone and give him the freedom to enjoy the coexistence and affection of a pet, safeguarding the health and well-being of the same.
In order to achieve this goal, the association has thought of an organization that, at 360 degrees, will take care of the animal-animal binomial with a series of related activities.
- Select, in collaboration with the social policy departments of the municipalities, pensioners and elderly people able to collaborate in the initiative as volunteers. The selected people will participate in a specific training that will allow them to be ready to carry out different tasks, from temporary care of animals to health education of children in primary and secondary schools, which is very important for the active and concrete role that seniors can bring with their experience in schools.
- Support for all expenditure on keeping animals for temporary adoption.
- Creation of a temporary accommodation centre for animals waiting to be placed temporarily or permanently with another owner.
- Free health care for animals given in foster care to the elderly with an isee up to 15 thousand euros.
- Home support and assistance for animals given up for adoption.
- Creation of a purpose trust for the protection of the owners’ wishes.
The expenses will be covered by ASTA Association with the proceeds from the donations received and the institutional activities of the association.