NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — For the elderly or anyone living with a fixed income, having a pet can be costly, and even too costly for some. But, thanks to the Senior Paw Project, senior pet owners won’t be forced to decide between providing for themselves, or their pets. 

In 2014, the state gifted more than 34 acres to build what is now the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary in honor of the 6-year-old girl who died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. 

The Senior Paw Project provides pet food, veterinary care assistance, and foster/respite care to senior pet owners who are struggling to care for

their pets, who oftentimes are a source of companionship.

“That relationship just from an emotional support, a mental health, mental wellness, is so important to preserve for both the human and the animal,” said Jennifer Hubbard, the animal sanctuary’s executive director.

Todd Aickles, who lives in senior housing in Canaan, is grateful veterinarians come right to the complex.

“I think it’s a blessing to people who need an animal for comfort and company,” Aickles said. “It does get expensive. It’s like going to your own doctor or your own hospital, but in most cases with no insurance.”

The Senior Paw Project is a referral-based program. To learn more, visit the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary’s website