Animal Hospice Movement

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Sky Dancer, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Sky Dancer
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    Sky Dancer BANNED

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    Your thoughts?



    In the wee hours of September 16, 2001, Christine Church’s orange-and-white cat Taffy died of kidney disease in a Connecticut veterinary hospital. Church, who had been maintaining the cat at home for seven months by giving her fluids under the skin, had taken Taffy to the hospital two days earlier because the cat had stopped eating.

    Church, who has nothing but praise for the veterinarians who care for her animals, is nevertheless filled with anguish. “I told the vet that I didn’t want her dying in a hospital,” Church recalls. “I asked if there was any way I could do her care at home. But the veterinarian said that Taffy needed IV fluids and round-the-clock monitoring that could only be done in the hospital.”

    Five years earlier, in March 1996, Kathryn Marocchino, Ph.D., a cat “parent” in Vallejo, CA, reluctantly agreed to euthanize her 13-year-old cat, Nikki, who was stricken with acute kidney failure. Maracchino, who had trained as a human hospice volunteer at a nearby medical facility, agreed to euthanasia only because she could find no alternative that would spare her cat substantial suffering. But before the year ended, Marocchino and her husband had founded the Nikki Hospice Foundation for Pets, a nonprofit, charitable clearinghouse of information about pet hospice for interested veterinarians and hospice professionals, and for pet owners who do not wish to choose euthanasia, or who wish to postpone it in favor of a natural dying process in the home. In late September 2001, NHFP launched a website that includes an expanding nationwide database of veterinary hospice care providers, training opportunities for veterinarians and mental health/hospice professionals and related services.

    http://www.petfinder.com/pet-care/pet-hospice-caring.html
     
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    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  2. Peach
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    Peach Gold Member

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    Wonderful; I ran "Dachshund rescue" at one time. Pete was one who came to our home, lived a few more months, but then was put to sleep. I regret it, but the Vet said no hope. All the dogs and cats who have lived in my home died natural deaths, except for one killed by a car.
     
  3. gallantwarrior
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    gallantwarrior Gold Member

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    Any alternative information for pet owners who must make such decisions is helpful. I try to do my part by salvaging cats. I currently house seven, have had as many as 18. My friends tease me about being a "cat whisperer" because I have always been able to seamlessly integrate new cats into a multi-cat household. The oldest cat I had was 19, and most live to between 16-18 years before they pass on. Every time one dies, I do my best to ease them on their way. Once I retire fully to my farm, I plan on establishing an animal rescue facility, but this hospice idea is kind of nice, too.
     
  4. Big Black Dog
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    Big Black Dog Gold Member Supporting Member

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    My wife is a retired Hospice nurse. I understand how Hospice works and I think it's a great program. I don't see why the same principals couldn't be put into play for animals going through the dying process. It would be a source of comfort for them and their owners. It would be an option available to them at a time when more options are always a source of comfort.
     
  5. Peach
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    Peach Gold Member

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    Nice posts GW, BBD.
     
  6. Sky Dancer
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    Sky Dancer BANNED

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    I've been fortunate that all my cats have died naturally. Several in my arms.
     
  7. gallantwarrior
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    gallantwarrior Gold Member

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    Even if I take them to the vet's, they die in my arms. I would never be able to just dump them off. For me, it's important to look into their eyes, to do otherwise would seem too cowardly.
     
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  8. Dr.Drock
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    Dr.Drock Senior Member

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    The only thing that concerns me is pets can only vaguely tell you they're hurt, obviously can't be specific.

    When my grandpa was in hospice care at home it was easy for us to lessen his suffering because he could always tell us directly what was wrong.

    I'm an animal lover myself, have mastiffs and a couple cats, but i think i'd still prefer to put my animal down rather than hoping i could minimize their suffering and let them die in a couple months, especially when i'm not certain that the animal isn't suffering.
     
  9. gallantwarrior
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    gallantwarrior Gold Member

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    It is amazing how patiently and quietly an animal will suffer.
     

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