That answer has now changed. A lady in OH, inspired by watching her father go through the same process, has created a service called Hospets. How it works:
Basically the way it works: Hospice or Senior Services will discuss our program with their pet owning patients. If the patient seems interested they are referred to us. At that point, we go to the patient’s home and meet with them, their family and their pets to determine what their needs will be. Do they need helping getting pet food? Does their pet need to be taken to a vet or to a groomer? Do they need helping with basics (walking a dog, cleaning a litterbox etc) During this meeting we will also determine if they have a plan for the care of their pet in the case of an emergency hospitalization, and what is the plan for the pet when the patient is no longer with us. We will get photos, a full bio on the pet, medical and vet info and emergency contact information.
If the patient opts to use us for emergency care or for placement services, they will sign releases allowing us to get vet records and also to allow us to take possession of the pet when needed. We are on call 24/7 and can come pick up a pet as soon as we are notified by Hospice. This will keep the pet from having to enter the shelter system. Usually when an elderly person is rushed to the hospital and there is no one left in the home to care for pets, animal control is called and the pets are seized. Because of the situation, pets don’t even have to be held for the stray time! While the patient is hospitalized, Hospet foster homes will provide respite care for the pet. If the pet owner is requesting that we place the pet in a new home, we will screen potential adopters while the pet remains with the patient. The goal is to keep the patient and their pet together as long as possible.
Very cool, and totally awesome!
H/T to YesBiscuit!