Pet Peace Of Mind

Guest Post By Delana Taylor McNac, D.V.M., L.P.C.
Pet Peace of Mind Program Manager

What would happen to your pets if you were terminally illand on hospice care?  That’s a question few pet owners want to consider. We allhope that we will live long, healthy lives and care for many pets over alifetime. But what happens when we don’t get that wish? 

Pet Peace of Mind(PPOM) is a hospice patient/pet support program developed and funded byBanfield Charitable Trust, a national pet charity in Portland, Oregon. Theprogram was created for the purpose of keeping hospice patients and pets together—tomake sure that no one who is terminally ill has to give up a pet whose love andcompanionship they need during their end of life journey.  Non-profit hospices in 23 states have adoptedthe program and use trained hospice volunteers to do in-home pet care forpatients who can no longer look after a pet, even taking them on walks and toand from veterinary and grooming appointments as needed. All pet care andservices are provided by the program at no cost to the patient or family.Volunteers also deliver pet food and treats to patients’ homes.  The hospice also works with local rescuegroups and humane organizations as well as their own volunteers to providefoster and adoptive homes for pets that become homeless when the patient dies.

How does the program make a difference? Here’s a true storyabout a patient, Lela, and her two dogs, Boo-Boo the Pug and Cookie, aPapillion.  

On a daily basis, Lela told our hospice how much her dogs meant toher. "They are my life. I love having them here with me. They keep me companyand they make me feel better."  Lela had some financial challenges with herbills, so we enlisted the Pet Peace of Mind program to help her with pet food,grooming and veterinary care costs. And, as her health declined and it washarder for daughter Jan to care for both Lela and the dogs, PPOM volunteersstepped in. One volunteer drove the 30 miles from Tulsa to Claremore to pick upthe dogs for a veterinary appointment. Other volunteers helped by taking thedogs to grooming appointments. When Lela moved to a hospice home in Tulsa, ourPPOM volunteers made sure the dogs had foster care in loving homes and tookthem for frequent visits to see their ‘Mom.’ Lela could be having a difficultday, but the minute Boo-Boo and Cookie walked in, she was delighted to seethem.”

Lela passed away earlier this year, but she died knowingthat Boo-Boo and Cookie would live in adoptive homes that love them as much asshe and her husband did.  

Does your localnon-profit hospice have Pet Peace of Mind?  Check out our website to find

Note:  This is something I had never thought about.  I checked the website and discovered there are none in Mississippi which greatly saddened me.  Another cause for Kirby and I to champion...