Pet care, that is. Think about it this way. For those of you who have been able to care for your pets according to a veterinarian's recommendations, it means an annual check up, vaccinations and fecal. Then, if you are "lucky" enough to live in an area with heartworms and fleas, the expense of heartworm testing and preventative and flea and tick preventative. The biggest expense for pet owners isn't the veterinary care, however...it's food! According to the 2008 American Pet Products Association statistics, the average pet owner spends more on food per year than anything else. Did you know the average pet owner will spend $1425 per year on one dog and $990 per year on one cat, just for food and routine care?*
Now imagine that you've been diagnosed with a terminal illness. The things that were once routine are upside down. While you may be a conscientious and caring pet owner, your focus has shifted dramatically. Emotions go from shock and disbelief to fear, anger, sorrow. It doesn't take long to go into survival mode in this type of situation. Simple things are now complicated and finances are turned upside down as you have to make medical decisions, maybe even quit work. Routine care for your pets takes a back burner as you try to remember which doctor appointment to go to next, which treatment, which medication to take at what time. By the time hospice comes into the picture, your life revolves around your illness and managing the symptoms.
This is why hospice patients and their families are so appreciative of the Pet Peace of Mind program. They know their pets have been caught up in the chaos of the situation and many of them feel helpless to change it. Pet Peace of Mind is able to come into their homes, assess the needs of their pet companions and make a way for them to be taken care of, too. Just delivering pet food to the home means one less thing to remember or worry about. For some of our patients, taking the dog or cat to the vet is impossible because of the expense or because the caregiver cannot leave the patient long enough to stay through an appointment. Our volunteers are more than happy to help and we couldn't do this without them. We also couldn't do it without the generosity of those individuals who support our program, whether that's financially, emotionally or spiritually. Thank you on behalf of our patients and their pets.