Hanover Housing Association, the national housing provider for older people, has retained its coveted RSPCA Community Animal Welfare Footprint for the seventh year running.
Hanover, which manages Hanover Green and Great Palmers in Hemel Hempstead, aims to preserve the bond between people and pets as much as possible, recognising the benefits pets can bring to the health and wellbeing of owners and fellow residents.
Recent studies have found that companion animals can help to lower blood pressure and regulate a person’s heart rate during stressful situations. Looking after an animal can also give older people a sense of purpose and reduce isolation for those who live alone.
The RSPCA’S Community Animal Welfare Footprint scheme celebrates the work of housing providers and other bodies in areas that impact on improving animal welfare.
Hanover spokesman Nick Sedgwick said: “Hanover is proud of the fact that around half of our estates have pets and over 1,200 of our residents are pet owners. Nobody wants to break up a relationship with someone’s beloved pet, which is why we aim to take positive steps to encourage and ensure responsible pet ownership in all our properties.”
RSPCA spokesman Rachel Williams said: “The benefits of responsible pet ownership to older people are well known and recognised, so Hanover’s commitment to allowing their residents to keep pets is really important.”