Wags of Hope is a new partnership bringing smiles to local alzheimer’s patients and allowing shelter animals to enjoy human companionship.

A program created by the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County and the SPCA of East Texas once a month the SPCA will bring puppies and kittens to the alliance’s day club for a little t-l-c, enjoyed by both parties.

Often times, seniors have to surrender their pets when they can no longer properly take care of them. *This partnership gives patients the opportunity to still enjoy the companionship of a pet without having to take care of them at home. In turn the day club participants will collect or create pet items to donate to the SPCA.

Our participants here at day club are making dog beds, dog blankets today. And they’ll be able to donate those to the SPCA. The great thing about that is, participants who are living with dementia can still give back to the community, they still have a lot to give, and it gives them a sense of purpose,” said Stephanie Taylor, Executive Director Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County.

Research shows being around animals can increase levels of oxytocin or the “love” hormone. It also is associated with lower blood pressure and reducing stress hormones all while creating a sense of calm, comfort and focus.