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Benjamin Rose introduces a new program, Pet Assistance Linking Support (PALS): supporting pets, supporting people

By Rebekkah Whelan | | March 2024

[CLEVELAND, OHIO] - Recognizing the importance of companionship and care for both older adults and their beloved pets, Benjamin Rose is thrilled to announce the launch of the PALS Project - an initiative aimed at providing assistance to older adults and their companion animals in the comfort of their homes.

The PALS Project, short for "Pet Assistance Linking Support," is funded by the Community Care Corps (Grant number 90CCDG0001). As a collaborative effort between Benjmain Rose, Neighborhood Pets, One Health Organization and Valley College, the program supports volunteers who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of older adults and their pets. This innovative program seeks to address the unique challenges faced by older individuals who may require assistance with pet care, while promoting social interaction and companionship. The program may also help the family and friend caregivers who often step in and provide care for their loved one’s animal companions. Further, the program aims to link older people and pets to local services to improve their health and wellbeing.  

“The PALS project is about creating connections and community through a shared love of pets,” said Dr. Jessica Bibbo, Principal Investigator of the PALS Project. “Volunteers will not only make a difference in the lives of older people and their pets, but create relationships.”

Volunteers participating in the PALs Project will have the opportunity to engage in various activities, including:

  • Assisting with pet feeding, exercise, cleaning and socialization.
  • Providing companionship and resources to older adults

Through these interactions, volunteers will not only provide practical assistance, but also serve as companions, offering emotional support and forming lasting friendships with older adults in need.

The PALs Project is actively seeking compassionate individuals who are eager to make a positive impact in their communities. Whether you're an animal lover, a retiree looking to stay active, or simply someone with a few hours to spare each week, there's a place for you in the PALS family.

"We believe that everyone deserves to age well, and for many people that includes the companionship of a pet. Pets are an important relationship in the lives of many older adults,”  said Jessica Bibbo. "By volunteering with the PALs Project, you have the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of both humans and animals alike."

For more information about how you can get involved with the PALs Project please contact volunteer manager Rebekkah Whelan at 216-373-1932 or


About Benjamin Rose: Since 1908, the skilled and compassionate professionals at Benjamin Rose have supported the aging journeys of adults and those who care for them. We do this by discovering, developing and delivering accessible, centralized programs and services. Our work ensures each and every person is heard, treated with dignity and positioned for a better tomorrow. For more information, visit