“The social worker said, ‘Oh, Karen, you’re going to have to rehome all five of these.’ The man is in 80s, can barely take care of himself let alone the dogs,” Jeffries recalls. “On his deathbed, he signs his dogs over to me.”
“I said, ‘I promise I’ll give them all a good home.’ It took a while, but eventually, each of the dogs went to a new family. That was a real labor of love. He wouldn’t have rested peacefully if he didn’t know those dogs had gone somewhere.”
Those in hospice will often be separated from their pets during a time when they need them the most.
Additionally, they have to worry about who will care for their dog when they are no longer able and who will adopt them when they pass on.
“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,” Pet Peace of Mind president Dianne McGill said.
“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.”
Pet Peace of Mind makes sure that terminal patients don’t have to worry about these matters in their final days.
They also make sure that their furry friends will be 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,” their Facebook page reads.
“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 do all sorts of things from playing fetch with a sick person’s dog, making sure they are groomed, and re-homing them when their owner passes away.
“We had all seen things happen where the patient was in their ending days, and they were so concerned about what was going to happen to their pet, and the family would say, ‘It’s OK, we’ll take care of it,’ and then the patient would die and the dog was off to the pound,” said Karen Jeffries, volunteer coordinator for St. Luke’s Hospice, told U.S. News and World Report.
But that was before the hospice began to partner with Pet Peace of Mind.
Now pet owners can pass away peacefully knowing their dogs will be taken care of.
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This short video does a good job of showcasing the fine work of PPOM partner Northern Illinois Hospice.
Posted by Pet Peace of Mind on Wednesday, August 23, 2017