People love their pets. The special bond between humans and pets is deep and meaningful for both. Animal lovers agree a pet is never just a pet. It is a member of the family. But when faced with a life-limiting and incapacitating illness, caring for the pet becomes challenging, if not impossible. And that can add another layer of anxiety and stress in an already stressful time.

“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.

Oftentimes, 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.

Rather than remove the pet from their beloved person, Pet Peace of Mind (PPOM) was developed to help hospice patients and pets stay together.  PPOM is the only national program that provides a care model for the pets of hospice patients.  But in Central Oregon, there were no options for patients who had pets but could not care for them – until now. 

Central Oregonians love their pets. Seeing the need for this service in Central Oregon, Hospice of Redmond stepped up. 

About the Pet Peace of Mind Program

“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.”

As a Pet Peace of Mind partner, Hospice of Redmond exclusively supports the pets of hospice patients needing these services. 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. 

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. 

“If you took away my pet, I wouldn’t want to go on,” said Crawford. “For many of us, we want to have our pets close every minute, up to and including when we take our final breath.  The dying lose so much…their pet doesn’t have to be one of them.”

And that is precisely why Hospice of Redmond is Central Oregon’s exclusive Pet Peace of Mind partner. You can learn more about Pet Peace of Mind by visiting them online here. If you want to learn more about Pet Peace of Mind, please get in touch with Tania Crawford at (541) 548-7483. 

If you want to be a Pet Peace of Mind volunteer, please fill out an interest form or apply on our website by clicking here

We need financial donations to support this brand-new program and the services offered. Please donate to our website by clicking here