While recent research demonstrates a plethora of health and social benefits associated with pet ownership, many older people in the UK are still denied the opportunity to keep a companion animal. Rules pertaining to pet keeping are often illogical, impermanent and inconsistently applied. Elizabeth Ormerod believes that veterinary practices can be influential in advising housing providers about the benefits of pets and offers advice on how to encourage them to adopt positive pet policies.
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■ Cinnamon Trust. www.cinnamon.org.uk
■ Dono, J. & Ormerod, E. (2005) Older people and pets: a comprehensive guide. SCAS Publications
■ Elder Accommodation Counsel. www.eac.org.uk
■ IAHAIO. www.iahaio.org
■ Pet Bereavement Support Service. www.bluecross.org.uk
■ Pet Fostering Service Scotland. www.pfss.org.uk
■ Society for Companion Animal Studies. www.scas.org.uk
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