One of the best things about living in this area is the generosity of community businesses. Add to that fact that animal lovers encompass a special breed of caring, and great things can happen. The beneficiaries of the good works of two area businesses are Eastern Area Agency on Aging’s Furry Friends Food Bank, seniors, and their furry companions.
Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that seniors with animals have a higher sense of well being and are healthier than those without. Sometimes, caring for the pet becomes troublesome as the cost of other necessities rise. Furry Friends Food Bank strives to answer the call, providing supplemental pet food and cat litter to low-income seniors and adults with disabilities to them care for their pets.
The Furry Friends Food Bank is completely funded by caring individuals and businesses.
“These are hard times for everyone,” said Rob Crone, director of nutrition at EAAA. “We are concerned with the seniors’ well being and understand that the special bond between seniors and their pets is beneficial in numerous ways.
“So by providing food and basic animal care supplies to those who need it, we are really helping seniors be well and happy longer. We are incredibly grateful to Bell Imaging and Design and Green Acres Kennel Shop for all they have done for Furry Friends,” Crone said.
Debra Bell, Bell Imaging & Design owner and a Bangor Daily News employee, specializes in lifestyle pet portraits. “It’s all about pets at Bell Imaging & Design,” she said.
And in her personal life, too, apparently. She owns a Maine coon cat named Olivia and a greyhound named Laura. Bell did several sessions for the holidays and donated a portion of the proceeds to Furry Friends.
Duffy Taylor was more than happy to strut his stuff at his portrait sitting. While Duffy is clearly gifted, most pets enjoy the attention. The key to lifestyle pet portraits is to know what the pet’s “lifestyle” is, according to www.bellimaginganddesign.com. Once the session starts, Bell will take it slow or fast depending on the pet personality. Whether your pet loves or hates photo shoots, Bell always gets her shot.
In all $300 was dropped in the coffers at EAAA.
In collaboration, Green Acres Kennel Shop offered space for the photo shoots and held a fundraiser with a company matching program to benefit the food bank. The business’s generous customers and others brought funds and food to the store on Union Street in Bangor. Don Hanson, owner of Green Acres, was pleased to have raised $3,600.
Green Acres Kennel Shop is a full service pet care business offering pet-friendly boarding, daycare, grooming, which is how Duffy stays so soft and beautiful, training classes, and behavioral consultations for cats and dogs. Additionally the business offers a full range of wholesome pet food and quality pet supplies.
Hanson also hosts, with Kate Dutra, the Woof-Meow radio show on WVOM FM 103.9 every Saturday at 7:30 a.m. and every Sunday at 8:30 p.m. This show is for all animal lovers and focuses on educating dog and cat moms and dads on the unique behaviors of their furry loved ones. From dealing with barking dogs to litter box training, the Woof-Meow show has it all.
“I’ve said it before: donations of food, supplies, or money are the only way Furry Friends Food Bank can provide for the pets of seniors and adults with disabilities,” said Crone. “Don Hanson and Debra Bell are ensuring that this population gets some help in caring for their companion animals. We are all working to make their lives a little better.”
Everyone at EAAA is deeply grateful to Bell and Hanson. Two great people, one important cause.
Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free 800-432-7812, or log on EAAA.org.