Funding Will Assist Local Programs’ Efforts to Make Veterinary Care More Accessible for Homebound Clients

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Meals on Wheels America, the national leadership organization supporting community-based programs across the U.S. dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger, announced it has distributed $509,000 in grants to greater than 60 local Meals on Wheels programs in 2022 to support expanded access to veterinary look after the pets of senior clients.

The funds distributed through the Meals on Wheels Loves Pets grant program – powered by PetSmart Charities®, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America – can be used to support programs’ abilities to supply older adults’ animal companions with improved and more accessible preventative, sick and emergency care. Pets have been shown to function a source of beneficial social connection for a lot of older adults, positively impacting their physical and mental health and decreasing feelings of loneliness. While veterinary care is especially essential to support pets’ health and longevity, it could possibly often present challenges for older adults with limited mobility or financial constraints to administer on their very own.

A 2021 study released by Meals on Wheels America and PetSmart Charities identified the first needs of homebound seniors and their pets and located that just about one in two clients reported being unable to access preventative veterinary care previously two years. 86% of the respondents said that cost was the most important barrier to receiving such veterinary care, with transportation cited as a secondary barrier. Such findings prompted the 2 organizations to design grants that might help address these challenges and make vet care more accessible.

“We all know that the human-animal bond is powerful for keeping older adults happier and healthier, and we wish to do all we will to remove hurdles which may get in the best way of seniors and their pets aging at home together,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “Through the continued support from our trusted partner, PetSmart Charities, we’re capable of help expand access to vital veterinary look after Meals on Wheels clients and make sure that older adults can more easily secure the exams, vaccinations, dental care and other critical services their animal companions need.”

“Veterinary Care access is a challenge for over 25 percent of pet households in the US, disproportionately impacting vulnerable groups like seniors who depend on their pets probably the most,” said Aimee Gilbreath, President of PetSmart Charities. “Through the incredible partnership with Meals on Wheels America, we’re capable of make sure that 1000’s of seniors can proceed living healthy, completely happy lives with their furry companions.”

Along with the grants designed to enhance and expand access to veterinary care, the Meals on Wheels Loves Pets grant program may even distribute a further $591,000 across two other grant types for a complete of $1,100,000 to be awarded by the tip of 2022. Each of those grant opportunities is designed to bolster the event, growth and sustainability of local programs’ pet assistance services in underserved areas and/or increase scalability and expand access to care.

For more information on Meals on Wheels America, please visit For more information on PetSmart Charities and the way grants are making an impact across North America, please visit

About Meals on Wheels America

Meals on Wheels America is the leadership organization supporting the greater than 5,000 community-based programs across the country which are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network serves virtually every community in America and, together with greater than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to seek out a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit

About PetSmart Charities® 

PetSmart Charities is committed to creating the world a greater place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps as much as 600,000 pets connect with loving families every year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and look after the well-being of all pets and their families. Our grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to inexpensive veterinary care and support families in times of crisis with access to food, shelter and emergency relief. Every year, tens of millions of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities directly at, while shopping at, and through the use of the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart® stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses greater than 90 cents of each dollar donated to satisfy its role because the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting greater than $500 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart LLC, PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for the past 18 years in a row – placing it among the many top one percent of rated charities. To learn more visit

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SOURCE Meals on Wheels America