Londonderry on the Tred Avon’s CEO, Irma Toce, has a passion for senior pet adoption and placing senior animals with Londonderry residents.
“I have always been an animal person,” said Toce. “Animals give people purpose and are incredibly therapeutic, especially for those living alone who are at risk of feeling isolated – like seniors. While an energetic puppy may not be the best option for our residents, older dogs and cats can be a great match. The animals provide our residents with purpose and companionship, and our residents provide the animals with a second chance and a safe and loving home.”
Toce’s passion began several years ago when she visited the Talbot Humane Society. She met a cat who was 16 years old and completely bald. Knowing no one else would adopt her, Irma brought the cat home. She lived happily with Irma for about a year, her hair even growing back. Within that same year, the Humane Society called and said they had an overweight cat on insulin. Irma adopted him as well and cared for him for five wonderful years before he passed away.
Toce’s reputation as a champion for senior pets grew on campus and residents who were interested in adopting began asking her for help finding a pet.
“I always have my eye out,” said Toce.
Toce’s latest adoptee was a dog named Duke. He was almost 13 when his owner passed away and her loved ones were getting the word out on social media to find Duke a new home. She immediately thought of a resident who had been looking for a puppy. She encouraged her to consider an older dog because they would be a better match for her energy level and lifestyle. Once she met Duke, he never left her side, and they are often found sitting together on her front porch swing.
Londonderry residents have also taken it upon themselves to share the responsibility of the on-campus pets by offering assistance to friends in need. If a resident is ill or away for the day, there is never a shortage of neighbors willing to walk a dog or feed a cat. Overall, having animals on campus has brought much joy, with dogs even greeting visitors on tours.
Irma has now placed 11 animals with loving residents over the course of seven years, mostly from the Humane Society. All pets are still a responsibility, no matter the age, but Toce insists that those who are able should adopt. Senior animals only want to be loved and love their owners in return.
About Londonderry on the Tred Avon
Londonderry on the Tred Avon is a vibrant, independent living cooperative community for adults ages 62+ that promotes wellness of mind and body. Londonderry offers a variety of housing options, from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.