There are two comments below criticizing the seniors for seniors program. I disagree with their criticisms. They only address negative what ifs, such as unmanageable vet expenses for low income seniors and how the animals may eventually be dumped.
These criticisms may all be well-founded and accurate. My senior guys have cost me a fortune. I am treating a cancer kitty to the tune of $4,000 so far. Many people would have dumped this sort of kitty already. A senior with no money would have to let the kitty die or rob a bank. But isn't this a situation that confronts many older or poor people throughout our wretchedly self-centered society?
Contrast this with dying immediately in the shelter by being euthanized. Which solution is better? Overwhelming a low-income senior with expenses? The senior taking the cat to a vet to be euthanized because they cannot afford treatment? A senior taking the animal to a shelter to be euthanized? Or a senior living in deep companionship with the animal until one or the other dies? The critics forget this part.
Are not these the outcomes a every human faces? Taking care of aged parents, bankrupting either the aged person or their families, or turning them over to convalescent homes?
The critics do not see that both the senior and the animal benefit from the longer or shorter companionship they may have with each other. Do we deny them that happiness and companionship because it does not last 15 years as with a kitten or puppy?
There is far more to the human/animal bond than the expense involved or what happens to the animals, or the senior, a year or four years down the line.
Let them both have happiness for however long it lasts.
I think the program is a good one.
I adopted what appeared to be a geriatric cat to a woman in her late 70s or older who did not want to adopt a younger animal, worrying about its care after she died. She wanted the cat to die first, or if she died, he had the same chance to life as any other aged cat. I was able to follow the two of them for three years before I moved away from Santa Monica. Both were very happy together.
The blame should not be put on LAAS for this program for possibly negative results, but on increasingly greedy and arrogant vets who need a comeuppance.
I really appreciate someone like Steve Feldman who leaves private practice, takes a large pay cut and devotes himself to trying to better take care of thousands of animals.