When people are experiencing life changes and challenges such as serious or terminal illness, having a pet can add an extra layer of complexity and concern. Pet parents in these situations often feel that they have no other option but to surrender their beloved pets to local animal welfare organizations.
But with the help of this new grant, Pet Peace of Mind, Inc. is committed to offering solutions that will help pets to stay within their loving homes and families. The Pet Peace of Mind program recognizes and actively supports the unique bond between patients and their pets by allowing patients to complete their end of life journey without worrying about their pet’s current or future needs. The program trains hospices how to utilize services delivered by volunteers to provide pet care services for patients who are no longer able to care for their pets. Some of these services are dog walking and play, canine and feline waste clean-up, re-stocking pet food, transporting pets to veterinary or grooming appointments, arranging boarding when the patient must spend time in the hospital, and helping find new homes for pets after the patient’s death. The PetSmart Charities grant will be used to fund a major program expansion by hiring a program manager to push the program out to 15 new hospice partners.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this remarkable gift from PetSmart Charities. The addition of a staff member to train new program partners allows us to double the number of programs we are launching within the next year,” said Dianne McGill, President of Pet Peace of Mind. “The human-animal bond is incredibly special, and we are committed to helping preserve this bond for any patient who needs assistance. Many patients cannot imagine navigating their end of life journey without their pets. This program provides a practical solution to helping them remain together until the end. Once patients become too ill to care for their pets, Pet Peace of Mind volunteers are there to meet their needs.”
“We are excited to support the work of Pet Peace of Mind and its unique initiative in a shared mission to keep people and pets together,” said Jenny Aho, regional relationship manager. “With the expansion of the program, more pet families across the country will remain together through patients’ end of life, and their pets placed in loving homes. Pet Peace of Mind will continue to speak for patients when they are no longer able to speak for their pets.”
Pet retention is just one of PetSmart Charities’ seven grant categories. Funding from PetSmart Charities supports animal welfare organizations and social service agencies committed to reducing pet homelessness and enhancing the human-animal bond. For more information, visit www.PetSmartCharities.org.
Founded in 2009, Pet Peace of Mind is the only national organization offering this program to the hospice and palliative care community.