HELENA – Pets provide companionship and purpose for many elderly people, but icy and dangerous roads and sidewalks can prevent some from taking their animal to a veterinarian.

Dr. Scott Issacson and his wife Amy Issacson are helping many who are unable to travel.

The Veterinary teams run The Path Home Veterinary Care which provides non-emergency animal care services such as vaccines and nail trimmings in their clients’ homes.

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Dr. Issacson says that for many people his service is the only way they can get their animal in to see a vet.

“Pretty much everyone we talk to and certainly the houses we go to, they’re very grateful and thankful they claim and say there’s defiantly in need of service like us,” says Issacson.

Touchmark’s Life Enrichment and Wellness Director Nanette Whitman-Holmes says that for the residents of Touchmark Doctor Issacson’s services is a life saver especially during winter.

“Right now with the icy roads any type of transportation is difficult and it’s perilous for our residents to go out walking right now. So having Dr. Issacson come in a perform services in the homes at Touchmark is wonderful.”

For residents like Rose Bertoglio and her cat Lucy even if the ice wasn’t a problem they still couldn’t make it to a vet clinic.

“I couldn’t go out. I don’t have a car so I have to rely on a family member to take me someplace,” says Bertoglio.

Another resident, Donna Dinardi faces similar transportation limitations but knows her eight year old Chihuahua Max needs regular checkups.

“You know [Max] has needs just like I do I’m sure,” says Dinardi, “He’s my best friend and we take care of each other.”

The in home visits also let Dr. Issacson build better relationships with his clients and better diagnose any issues.

“We get to know what they do and certainly it’s a personable thing,” says Issacson, “You know in the office you don’t really get to that level that quickly.”

For many Touchmark residents, their pet’s health is very important because they mean everything to their owners. They animals provide companionship, a way to socialize and even gives some a sense of purpose.

“Animal companionship here is really important, and we want to provide this service, so that people can keep their pets healthy and keep their pets with them,” says Holmes, “Loneliness can be a factor and having a pet in your home can alleviate some of that loneliness.”

Reporting by John Riley and Jacob Fuhrer for MTN News

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