Hospice Program Helps Terminal Patients Keep Their Pets
Hospice Program Helps Terminal Patients Keep Their Pets

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

—Josh Billings (a.k.a. Henry Wheeler Shaw; humorist and lecturer)

Our pets love us unconditionally, they are loyal and caring, non-judgmental, understanding and kind, and provide all the attention we need.

They are an incredibly valuable part of our lives, but for some people, pets are both, a family and a best friend. Experts agree that attachment to pets is beneficial for human health and even helps build community.

One of the hardest things people in hospice need to do is to leave their beloved pets. Apart from the heartbreaking separation, terminal patients additionally worry about the future of their pets when they will no longer be able to take care of them.

However, thanks to Pet Peace of Mind, they don’t have to worry about these things anymore.

President Dianne McGill said:

“The program was designed to be an extension of hospice’s overall mission to provide care and support for patients and their families during the end of life journey. Since many patients consider their pets essential family members, the program is there to acknowledge and validate this important element of the patient’s support network.

For many terminally ill patients, pets provide a powerful antidote – sometimes the most powerful antidote – to isolation, loneliness, and depression.

I know of countless patients who have said that their pet is their lifeline. Pets are great medicine for coping with the anxiety the comes from dealing with a serious medical condition.

For many patients, keeping their pets near them during the end of life journey and finding homes for their beloved pets after they pass is one of the most important pieces of unfinished business.”

This company is aware that many people bond with their pets in the same way as they do with people. Therefore, when the pet parent is facing a life-limiting or terminal illness, the pet might be their sole source of companionship, comfort, and love.

According to their Facebook page, the company ensures these furry friends are close by:

“The Pet Peace of Mind program provides nonprofit hospices with a turnkey approach to help them train volunteers to help patients with their pet care needs, provides seed funding to get the program off the ground, and offers advice and assistance for the life of the program.

People have come to bond with their pets in much the same way they bond with people.

Pets are treated and loved like family members and they comfort their owners much like a close friend or relative. It is no wonder then that during the end-of-life journey, pets can play a critical role.

Unfortunately, as families deal with grief and loss during hospice care, pets may be overlooked, forgotten, or even ignored by family members unfamiliar with the patient’s bond with a pet.”

The organization runs on donations and volunteers who ensure the pet lacks nothing, and re-home them after the death of their owner.

Karen Jeffries, volunteer coordinator for St. Luke’s Hospice, explains that patients are concerned about what is going to happen to their pets, but even though their relatives claim that will take care of it, in the end, they often do not stick to their word.

Yet, after the hospice partnered with Pet Peace of Mind, pet owners can leave this world peacefully, sure that their loved pets will be safe and sound.

The company has helped thousands of people with pet care needs, and preserved the special bond between them through the patient’s end-of-life journey.