XENIA — Mary Carr Massie of McColaugh-Massie Funeral Home would like to get the word out this holiday season that dogs, cats, and every animal in-between can not only lift one’s spirits but provide emotional support as well.
To help that cause, the funeral home is offering to help individuals and families adopt a pet by paying the adoption fee for the month of December for animals that are featured in this newspaper.
“We’ve reached out to the local rescues, with the hope that this will bring awareness as to how animals can help with mental health. While we know this would be beneficial any time of the year, we picked December because often people who don’t have families or have recently experienced a loss can go through loneliness and depression at the holidays and animals help with that,” said Massie.
An emotional support dog is not required to perform any specific tasks — they are meant solely for emotional stability and unconditional love. They can assist with conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder/mood disorder, panic attacks, fear/phobias, and other psychological and emotional conditions.
“We reached out to the shelters and we asked if there is a pet that has been there awhile, these are the pets that we want to help make a match.” Massie said. “We at McColaugh-Massie Funeral Home are excited to have the opportunity again (for the second year), to pair up with the local shelters and we hope to continue this event annually.
“This time of year people are so busy with the ‘hustle and bustle’ and while things appear to be festive on the outside, the holidays are often times of great loneliness for people, evoking additional anxiety and depression, especially among those who have a loved one missing. Pets are known to bring comfort and while they cannot replace them, they can fill the void and provide companionship. We consider this program a ‘win-win’ for the shelters, the humans, and the pets.”
Last December’s effort was a success.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive response from it last year. Even if one animal gets adopted and brings someone joy. Mental health is important to us and it’s an issue we want to bring into the limelight,” Massie said. “The holidays can bring great sadness, especially if someone is missing in their life.”
For more information on this seasonal program, call 937-372-1102 or log on to www.mccolaughfuneralhome.com. For those unable to adopt, donations can be made directly to the shelter of your choice.