Since animal hospice care is still a growing field in the US and not every veterinarian is equipped to deal with hospice care situations, I wanted to mention a few organizations that you can turn to if you are considering hospice care for one of your beloved pets. I mentioned the AHELP Project when I told you about the revised recipe for Sora’s Goo. That organization (of which I became a Board member while I was writing my book) is a great one if you are local to the greater Seattle area. But what if you are not?
There is an international organization called the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) which has many great resources available to “Pet Parents” on their website, including a listing of all of their member veterinarians located all over the world. If you are looking for a resource close to your area, I’d suggest you start there. If there is not a veterinarian in your local area, I’d call the nearest veterinarian and ask for a recommendation where you reside.
Another option for information is the Nikki Hospice Foundation for Pets. They offer training seminars and events, pet loss support and lots of information on veterinary hospice care. I’d also recommend the site of Dr. Ella Bittel, the founder of Spirits in Transition, where you can not only learn about many valuable animal hospice resources, but also register for the Spirits in Transition workshop, which is where I learned many tips and strategies that I was able to directly apply to the care of my sweet boy, Jasper, a yellow Labrador Retriever/Hound mix who had mast cell tumor cancer.
Of course, there are many more resources, but each of the non-profits mentioned above has vetted the resources that appear on their respective sites. I’d start there. If you have specific questions, please feel free to submit a comment on this post and I’d be happy to answer your question and point you in the direction of a good resource.
Also, as a side note: I will be doing a webinar this Sunday, June 9 at 8pm EST/7pm CDT/6pm MDT/5pm PDT/12 midnight GMT, on the topic of “Demystifying the Process of Natural Death.” If you are interested in learning more about the process of natural death, this is a great opportunity for you. More information can be found on my events page here. The webinar is free for IAAHPC members.
In my next post, I’ll tell the first of many stories of the courageous dogs and their people who each battled cancer in their own unique ways.