A new program in Niles is pairing disabled senior citizens up with homeless pets.
It's designed to save animals and give seniors living alone a new friend.
Thursday night the foster program, Fur-Ever Fosters, Inc, based out of Niles introduced their first dog to his new home.
A two-year-old dachshund named Drake will now be living with Wayne Martin, 77.
Martin lives alone and suffers from cerebral palsy yet has always wanted a dog.
With the program he'll receive help taking care of the dog. He’ll also learn how to teach Drake how to become his own therapy dog for emotional support.
The founder of Fur-Ever Fosters, Clare DeHaan, says it's a win-win for the dog and senior citizen.
“The pet gets a home, gets a loving caring home and the senior actually gets a companion for them,” she says. “Most of them are alone… you know. They have no one you know. They are there 24 hours a day, so a pet brings in a lot of joy and companionship for them.”
About twice a week someone from the foster program will stop by to check on the two and drop off pet supplies.
Martin will eventually learn how to walk his dog with his wheelchair, among many other aspects that are part of the therapy sessions.