Hospice of Redmond has become a partner of Pet Peace of Mind, a program that provides a care model for the pets of hospice patients. The program aims to keep hospice patients with their pets when they can no longer care for them due to their worsening health. Hospice of Redmond is the only hospice provider in Central Oregon offering support for pets in this capacity.

Oftentimes, hospice caregivers are overwhelmed and do not have enough time to take care of the pet, and the pet gets unintentionally neglected or surrendered to a rescue organization or shelter.  Statistics show that nearly 50 percent of owner relinquishments at shelters are due to illness or the death of the pet’s owner.

“During the dying process, we lose the ability to care for ourselves, much less our pets,” said Tania Crawford, Volunteer Coordinator at Hospice of Redmond.

As a Pet Peace of Mind partner, Hospice of Redmond exclusively supports the pets of hospice patients needing these services through volunteers. It is estimated that about 40 percent of hospice patients have pets, and about 15 percent are unable to care for their pets and do not have a caregiver who can help.

“In our quest to provide the absolute highest level of patient care, we saw the need to fully incorporate pets into our care model,” said Crawford. “Our volunteers can help with a pet’s daily needs – things like walking, feeding, and cleaning litter boxes.  We can get pets to grooming and veterinary appointments.  We can ensure everything the pet needs, including food, litter, and medication, is on hand and organized.”

The program includes helping the patient develop a plan for what will happen to the pet after they’re gone.  This could mean seeking potential adopters who are willing to wait for the pet, contacting family members to ask for help, supporting the patient in making a pet trust, and making arrangements with rescue organizations. Knowing a pet is ultimately going somewhere they will be loved provides essential closure.

To learn more about the Pet Peace of Mind program, visit hospiceofredmond.org/pet-peace-of-mind/.

Media inquiries should contact Jane McGuire, Executive Director for Hospice of Redmond, at marketing@hospiceofredmond.org or (541) 548-7483.