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How Pets Can Be True Lifesavers for Seniors

Credit: Serena Gordon HealthDay Reporter

Having a furry, fluffy or feathered friend can have a profound effect on seniors' mental health, possibly even helping prevent some suicides, new research suggests.

In a group of 35 older people who were pet owners, more than one-third said they were "actively suicidal" or "significantly traumatized," but their pets gave them a reason to live.

One of these men had dogs and exotic birds with very specialized care needs.

"I actually realized the only thing that is really keeping me alive, was these [dogs] and the birds, giving me a chance to ...