Having pets can improve your overall health, studies show

CULVER CITY, Calf. (KABC) -- A growing body of research shows that having a pet could improve your overall health.

Having a pet can get owners more active, moving and outdoors.

Girl Scouts Girl Scouts Hermela Amanuel and Melanie Marx from West Los Angeles decided to help more people experience those health benefits, and at the same time, find great homes for adoptable pets.

They took Bane, Barney and Adele to the Culver City Senior Center hoping someone would fall in love with them.

"We love animals and we wanted to do something with the elderly," Hermela explained.

"Lower loneliness, because elders seem to be lonely," said Melanie.

Many studies show that pets also help reduce heart disease, depression and stress. The girls teamed up with Michelson Found Animals to bring dozens of pets to prospective senior owners.

"Having a dog tends to keep them walking more, healthier longer. It often gives them motivation to get up and get out," said Aimee Gilbreath from Michelson Found Animals.

With so many health benefits, many have wondered why more seniors aren't adopting pets. Many seniors said they have trouble getting to the shelter and others may find the adoption process quite daunting.

"Our goal is to bring the pets to the people with things like our Catty Wagon here, so we make it easy," said Gilbreath.

Adele found her forever home in Los Angeles with Michele Angevine - who looked forward to seeing a friendly face when she gets home.

"Walk in a house with a pet and you just feel you know that there's someone there for you," said Angevine.

Today's event helped Hermela and Melanie earn the Girl Scouts' second highest award. But the biggest honor was knowing they made a lasting difference.

"Look around. Everybody's here. Everybody's having fun. It's working out well," said Melanie.
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