P.A.W.S. announces Senior Adoption Program
Rockport — P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center announces its newly expanded Senior Adoption Program.
On behalf of the John Wilkalis trust, Stockton Springs resident Shirley Balch donated $10,000 to P.A.W.S. to make this program possible.
The Wilkalis-Balch Senior Adoption program will make more adoptions possible by waiving the adoption fee for anyone over 50 years old when adopting a cat 7 years and older or a dog 9 years and older. P.A.W.S.’ previous senior-to-senior program was only available to adopters aged 60 and over and only for the adoption of cats.
“We are thrilled to be able to lower the eligibility requirement for adopters and include dogs in this wonderful program,” said Executive Director Amie Hutchison. “John would have been so pleased,” Shirley said of the program.
Wilkalis was a chemical engineer, researcher and animal lover who passed away in 2004 at the age of 80. He loved music and traveled the world, with a special passion for Africa and photographing wildlife. Later in life John rescued a feral kitten and patiently trained him to wear a harness and walk on a leash. Buddy, the cat, was family to John and inspired him to direct his philanthropy to animal shelters.
The program is aimed at helping pets like Sophie to find a home. Sophie is a gorgeous, long haired dilute calico who is 16 years old. Sophie would prefer a quite household with the company of adults. She would accept living with other cats as long as she has a perch in the sun to oversee the household and accept the lavish attention she deserves.
“It is a shame that senior animals like Sophie are so often overlooked,” said Director of Operations Laura Stupca. “They are often calmer, easier to care for and just looking for some love and attention. Every animal deserves to spend their twilight years in a loving home. We are so grateful to Shirley for creating this legacy program to honor Mr. Wilkalis’ love of animals. I am hopeful that this will bring some much needed attention to the senior pets in our care and result in more adoptions.”
To learn more about P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center and the Wilkalis-Balch Senior Adoption Program please visit P.A.W.S. at 146 Camden St. in Rockport, online at pawsadoption.org or call 236-8702.