Calling All Animal Lovers: Pet-Friendly Retirement at Otterbein SeniorLife

Posted on: April 21, 2022

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

-Anatole France

For many, pets are an integral part of life. They provide companionship, snuggles, reasons to exercise, and can even spark new human friendships. Most pet owners would never consider leaving their beloved pet, which is why Otterbein SeniorLife communities are often asked, “Can I bring my pet?” The answer? YES!

Otterbein communities are proud to be pet-friendly. We’re constantly looking for ways to make life more fulfilling for all our residents. With that guiding philosophy, we do everything we can to ensure that your pet remains part of your individual journey.

Otterbein’s Pet Policy

Independent patio homes or villas allow pets (typically cats, dogs, birds or fish) of any size as long as you can ensure they are safe for other residents and on leashes in common spaces.

Independent living apartments have restrictions, dependent upon community – ask your Otterbein lifestyle counselor for details.

Pets at Otterbein Sunset Village

“I have always had dachshunds,” said Ann, a resident of Otterbein Sunset House. She has two pets – Kara, the cat, and Garland, a black and tan long-haired miniature dachshund.

Ann and her black and tan long-haired miniature dachshund

“Kara is very curious; investigating the apartment every morning, then sitting in the window,” said Ann. “Garland is blind and deaf, and was going to be put down, but I rescued him.  He is around 11 or 12 years old. Both the dog and cat get along very well and like to cuddle together.”

When considering the move to a retirement community, one of the requirements for Ann was that Kara and Garland came with her.

“I would not have left them,” she said. “The pets bring peace within you. They are nice to hold when I’m upset; they are a nice comfort.”

Animal Interaction for Non-Pet Owners

For residents that don’t want a full-time pet, but still look forward to interactions with a variety of animals, some communities have house pets that they are welcome to engage with.

Cathy Hatch, who works in Activities at Otterbein Sunset Village, cares for the house pets in Overmeyer – two parakeets and fish in an aquarium. The two parakeets, New York and Feather, were recently named by an Otterbein Sunset Village resident, Vern, who covers them every night and uncovers them each morning.

“[The birds] are a nice diversion,” said Vern. “They make the community complete.”

The aquarium is a freshwater tank, and features angelfish, betas, and assorted tetras.

“The residents really enjoy them,” said Cathy. Residents will often gather around the aquarium during feedings to watch the fish dart around the tank.

In addition to the fish and birds at Sunset Village, other buildings in Otterbein communities have house dogs or cats, and often, the family members of residents bring in their pets, so it’s not uncommon to see a friendly pup wandering the halls!

Answers for Your Questions about Otterbein SeniorLife

If you’re interested in learning more about life at Otterbein SeniorLife, check out “Your Ultimate Guide to Life at Otterbein,” full of frequently asked questions and answers about what to expect.

View the FAQ Ultimate Guide for Life at Otterbein