What is Pet Peace of Mind?
Pet Peace of Mind (PPOM) is a program that trains hospices how to provide care for pets of hospice patients. The hospice provides specially trained volunteers to assist with daily care such as feeding, exercise and pet sitting. Other services may include arranging trips to the veterinarian, groomer, or boarding facility, plus developing an adoption/foster care plan for pets after the patient dies.
Why have a program specifically focused on hospice patients?
As pet lovers, we know that our pets understand when something is wrong, or can sense when we aren’t feeling well. They comfort us, they ease our tension, they reduce our fear, and they love us no matter what.
We can only try to imagine how much more significant this unique bond is for hospice patients. Their pets offer comfort and companionship when it’s needed most—especially when words are too hard to say.
Unfortunately, many people in hospice care are unable to care for their pets but still benefit greatly from their presence. Simple tasks like feeding, walking, grooming, or taking a pet to the veterinarian are difficult, if not impossible. Pet Peace of Mind allows hospice patients to complete their end-of-life journey with the comfort and companionship of a pet without worrying about their pet’s current or future needs.
Is there a hospice with a Pet Peace of Mind program in my area?
Click here for a current listing of hospices with active Pet Peace of Mind programs. New providers are being added often so be sure to check back regularly. If you are interested in contacting a hospice about starting a PPOM program in your community, email us today.
How does your program work?
Pet Peace of Mind provides a program model, plus all the materials and systems to implement the program. This includes online training for Pet Peace of Mind coordinators, marketing and fundraising materials, training modules for hospice volunteers and staff, plus ongoing support from Pet Peace of Mind. Please email us for more information.
I am looking for a pet therapy program. Can you help?
Offering pet therapy programs is not part of Pet Peace of Mind’s line up. We recommend you contact Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society), an excellent organization offering volunteer referrals and pet therapy training programs. Visit their site www.petpartners.org
Does Pet Peace of Mind reduce the number of pets entering shelters?
YES! Sometimes one of the most important pieces of unfinished business in a patient’s life is ensuring their pet has a new forever home and will not end up in a shelter to face an uncertain future. Hospice partners learn how to establish connections and build adoption/foster networks to ensure pets have a place to go when the patient passes. Based on annual reports recevied from our hospice partners, we estimate approximately 1,500 pets per year find new homes.
How do I volunteer?
Contact the hospice in your area and let their PPOM volunteer coordinator know you are interested in volunteering with the program. They will inform you of volunteer training opportunities in your area. You may also email us with your contact information. If you have contacts at a local hospice, we encourage you to advocate with them to consider launching their own PPOM program. Be sure to point them toward the Pet Peace of Mind website to learn more.
I am a local veterinarian. How do I get involved?
Veterinarians can be involved in the program in two ways. Each Pet Peace of Mind program must have a Consulting Veterinarian. He or she serves in an advisory capacity to the hospice’s Pet Peace of Mind Coordinator to help define routine veterinary care and provide advice on the costs of that care in their location. Other chores include setting up vaccination protocols, advising on zoonotic disease prevention, and providing advice on catastrophic spending limits for hospices who help cover significant pet care expenses for their patients. Veterinarians can also participate as a pet care partner in a local Pet Peace of Mind program by providing routine veterinary care services to hospice patients’ pets. For communities where no program exists, we encourage veterinarians to help bring the program to a local partner. Email the national Pet Peace of Mind office for more information o any of these topics.
I am a local groomer, pet sitter, or pet boarder. How do I get involved?
Local pet care service providers are an important part of the Pet Peace of Mind program model. Contact your local nonprofit hospice to see how you can be a part of their program.