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Keeping companions close: Pet Peace of Mind explained

Keeping companions close: Pet Peace of Mind explained

In early 2021, Allied Services Hospice & Palliative Care announced its partnership with Pet Peace of Mind®, a national program that enables hospice patients to keep their pets at home throughout their end-of-life journey. We sat down with Laurie Fleming, Volunteer Coordinator for Allied Services Hospice, to learn more about the program.

Laurie, can you tell me what the Pet Peace of Mind®program is all about?

Well, at its root, it is about helping people continue to enjoy the companionship and love of their pets throughout the end of life journey. Pet Peace of Mind® is a national program that helps hospices like ours to provide pet care assistance patients with pets. Currently, there are more than 200 organizations across 43 states who provide this service to their patients.

What is the goal of the Pet Peace Mind®program?

Pet Peace of Mind® was created to help seriously ill people care for their pets. The goal is to help keep patients and their pets together, and to alleviate any stress created by pet care or concern for their future.

Why do you feel this program is so important?

If you are a pet owner or an animal lover, you will know how close the bond between a pet and their owner can be. Our pets can improve our lives in so many ways; they provide companionship; they can help us lead a healthier lifestyle; they can help us be more social. At the end of the day, they are like family.

The unqiue bond between a person and their pet grows in significance for hospice patients. Pets are very intuitive. They know when something is wrong, or can sense when we are not feeling well. They comfort us, they ease our tension, they reduce our fear, and they love us no matter what.

Unfortunately, hospice patients may struggle to care for their pets. Simple tasks like feeding, walking, grooming, or taking a pet to the veterinarian can become more difficult. If we can provide practical support with pet care, we can alleviate stress and help to keep a pet safely and comfortably at home with their owner.

What kinds of services does the Pet Peace of Mind®provide?

We can help hospice patients with practical aspects of pet care including:

  • Routine pet care such as dog walking, feeding, litter box changing
  • Purchase and delivery of pet food
  • Transportation to and from veterinary or grooming appointments
  • Financial support for grooming
  • Financial support for pet medications or vaccinations
  • Pet sitting when the patient leaves the home for medical appointments

Do you offer fostering or adoption as part of Pet Peace of Mind®?

Our program does not offer fostering or adoption services however, we do provide assistance in finding a forever home after their owner has passed away. Allied Services Hospice works with local pet rescue centers to ensure that pets find a loving home if the patient's family cannot take them. We also provide practical and financial assistance to ensure that pets are ready for adoption; neither the patient nor the pet rescue centers will incur any costs.

How do patients get access to these services?

If an Allied Services Hospice patient or caregiver needs some extra help caring for a pet, they can let the Hospice team know, or call me at 570-290-3285. Services are provided at no cost to the patient or their family, thanks to funding generously provided by the Robert H. Spitz Foundation administered by the Scranton Area Foundation.

What role do volunteers play?

Our volunteers are so important to this program. They are the ones who provide the hands-on assistance and make the program possible. They are fully vetted and receive special training before they begin providing assistance to our patients.

If you would like to volunteer your time or talents as part of the Pet Peace of Mind® program please contact

Pet Peace of Mind® is a registered trademark of Pet Peace of Mind Incorporated. Learn more here.