Hope for Pets, Foster Program for Hospice Patients

Foster Program for Hospice Patients

Cape Coral Animal Shelter has partnered with Hope Hospice to take current foster program for hospice patients one step further. In animal rescue, one of the most heartbreaking owner surrender requests is when a person is terminally ill and must give up their beloved pet.  Once surrendered, the person ultimately loses touch with their pet after it is adopted, spending their last days wondering about and missing their companion.  Finding a home for pets can also be a burden for family members when a loved one enters hospice unexpectedly and they scramble frantically to find a home for the pet.

Hope Hospice created the Hope for Pets program to alleviate that worry and give people in their care some peace of mind that their pets will have veterinary visits, exercise, and, when needed, a new, loving home. To ensure no pet is left behind, Hope for Pets has partnered with various shelters to help coordinate pet adoptions and veterinary care. Now, CCAS is offering enhanced services to keep the connection between Hope’s pet owners and their loyal companions strong for as long as possible.

Our program will facilitate the surrender of a pet by a hospice patient. However, that pet will stay in the home of the patient until he/she is no longer able to care for the pet.  During that time, CCAS will handle medical care of the pet, transport to and from the patient’s home for vet visits, and supply food/supplies if needed.  Further, if the Hope Hospice patient enters a hospice facility, CCAS will put the pet into a foster home until the patient passes away.  These fosters will be specifically chosen and trained to be compassionate and understanding of the situation.  They will provide updates, pictures, phone calls, and (if possible) visits to the patient in a hospice facility.  Once the patient passes, CCAS will find a loving, forever home for the pet.  

“We have a network of fantastic foster parents who are specially educated about end-of-life care. They keep in touch with the owner and help them stay connected to their pet with updates, phone calls and visits,” said McCauley. “We are creating a continuity in transitioning a pet from owner to foster family, while forging a faster pathway to adoption.”

Oftentimes, pet adoptions are delayed due to an absence of medical information or lapsed treatments. Now, veterinary services are brought up to date and pets are given the care they need to stay happy and healthy well before they join their new adopted home, giving the hospice patient and their families great relief during a most difficult time.

For more information on the foster program for hospice patients and insights from Hope Hospice, click here.