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May 28, 2008

Animal Exchange Award

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:49 pm

   Ruth Volunteer Appreciation Party 2008-29thumb.jpg                                          Ruth and plaque[thumb].jpg

Animal Exchange ‘Lend-A-Pet’ Program Receives City Honor
Program Recognized for Quarter Century of Pairing Pets and Seniors

The City of Rockville Senior Center recently presented its Corporate Appreciation Award to Animal Exchange, a 29-year-old retailer in Rockville, Md., for its Lend-A-Pet program which lets older residents borrow a pet—for a few weeks to years. Ruth Hanessian is president of Animal Exchange.
Lorraine Schack, Senior Social Services Manager, presented the award to Ms. Hanessian on May 20, 2008, at the Senior Center’s annual volunteer appreciation event with a plaque that reads, “In recognition of 25 years of providing joy to the senior citizens of Rockville through the pet loan program, we proudly honor Animal Exchange with the Rockville Senior Center Corporate Appreciation Award.”
Begun in 1983, the Lend-A-Pet program brings an assortment of pet birds and fish to the Rockville Senior Center once a month. Rockville senior center members are welcome to “borrow” an animal for a test drive of the pet ownership experience. Ms. Hanessian also provides food and supplies for the first month of the pet loan. Seniors may return the animal at any time, but most keep the pet indefinitely.

“Numerous studies have documented the benefits of pet ownership, particularly for seniors who often experience loss or loneliness. Caring for a companion animal has positive physical and emotional benefits,” Ms. Hanessian says. “It is so gratifying to see the joy shared between animals and older owners. That’s what the Lend-A-Pet program is all about.”

Rockville City Councilwoman Phyllis Marcuccio praises the program for allowing seniors “to gather another beating heart in their home. In the city of Rockville, we want everybody’s life to be as positive as possible. One of the best ways to do that is enabling the elderly to have the sense of companionship that comes from owning a pet.”

Animal Exchange has been in business in Rockville, Md., since 1979. Ruth Hanessian has placed more than 1,000 pets with older Rockville residents through the Lend-A-Pet program. Pet store managers interested in starting a pet loan program, may contact Animal Exchange at (301) 424-PETS or <>  for more information.