THE WAGY DOG PROGRAM
So what's the WAGY program? WAGY stands for Wandering Angels Golden Years and it is an initiative we run in line with our mission, that not all who wander are lost.
In short, even older dogs deserve the chance to live out their days happy and content in a loving home. Often, people don't want to adopt older dogs as they are looking for a dog who they can enjoy time with over many years. But there are many cases where older dogs may be a great match and we've identified this is the case for many elderly or older widowed people who can benefit emotionally from having a companion pet.
As we age, some of us struggle getting as much social interaction as we used to, we retire and our children leave the nest and become busy with their own young families. As we enter our own golden years, sometimes we even struggle further after our life partner passes away further increasing feelings of lonliness.
According to Stats NZ (2022), “The number of people aged 65 years or older (65+) living in New Zealand is likely to hit 1 million by 2028. Population projections show that while there are currently about 842,000 people aged 65+, this number will continue to increase over the next 50 years.”
Without successfully working to rehome older dogs as well as younger ones, the population of elderly rescue dogs will increase.
Friedmann et al (2020) suggests interaction with animals is a non-pharmacological intervention that is posited to support health and may promote healthy ageing. Considerable research addresses the relationship between human-animal interaction and people's health. Demonstrating pet ownership has been linked to better health outcomes in older adults, particularly those with chronic conditions. For this reason the Wandering Angels WAGY program is a great way to connect suitable people with companion dogs who may not otherwise be chosen to be adopted.
People who are considered as suitable applicants for our WAGY program include, people who may no longer have pets because of existing chronic health issues or due to their age and being concerned that a new pet may outlive them.
WAGY partnerships mean that the suitable applicant takes on a dog as a temporary arrangement until such time their health may decline to where they can no longer care for the animal or they may pass away. At that point, the dog is returned to Wandering Angels to retire or move to it's next WAGY home.
Friedmann E, Gee NR, Simonsick EM, Studenski S, Resnick B, Barr E, Kitner-Triolo M, Hackney A. (June, 2020) Pet Ownership Patterns and Successful Aging Outcomes in Community Dwelling Older Adults. Front Vet Sci. 25;7:293. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2020.00293. PMID: 32671105; PMCID: PMC7330097.
Stats NZ. (27 July, 2022). One million people aged 65+ by 2028. Retrieved from https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/one-million-people-aged-65-by-2028/#:~:text=The%20number%20of%20people%20aged,over%20the%20next%2050%20years.