A Purrfect Partnership

Hospice PetsHosparus Health is committed to providing compassionate care not only for our patients, but also their families. Thanks to a new partnership in Southern Indiana, we’re able to extend that care to furry family members as well.

Volunteer Manager Vonya Gresham heard about other hospices working with animal placement organizations and wanted to develop such a partnership for Hosparus Health of Southern Indiana (HSI). Patti Warren, a volunteer, suggested Purrfect Friends for Adoption Inc., a fostering and adoption organization where she also volunteers her time.

“I love Hosparus – they were there for three of my family members – but I am bigtime animal lover. Both those things were so important to me,” Patti says. “Being a volunteer with Hosparus for a long while, I knew there was a need for help for the pets people were leaving behind.”

When Patti introduced Vonya to Purrfect Friends Director Kim Tharp, a match was made.
“At our first meeting, both Kim and Patti were so enthusiastic!” Vonya says. “We had originally contacted them to help only with placements, but they wanted to do more!

They were able to recruit an additional six people from Purrfect Friends to go through our volunteer training just so they could help with things such as litter box changing, walking dogs, etc.”

“Pets are often the only family patients have, and we realize the importance of keeping pets with their owners until life’s end,” Kim says.

Purrfect Friends, volunteers take pets to the vet and the groomer. They also provide food and any supplies the pets might need.

“We help ensure that the pets’ lives aren’t disrupted by the patient’s illness,” Kim adds. “We make sure the dogs are still going on walks, their cat has a clean litter box, pets are receiving medical care, and they are getting the attention and love they deserve. If the patient hasn’t planned for the future of their pet, Purrfect Friends will assist the family in placement of these pets into loving homes.”

Pet AdoptionThe organization will even help pay for vet care if the patient is struggling financially. Kim says, “We want them to know that their beloved animals will be loved and cared for regardless of what happens. They do not have to worry about the financial burden of pet care at a time when many patients are struggling with their own medical bills.”

All of Purrfect Friends’ services add up to a sense of comfort for seriously ill pet owners. “I think it provides the patient with peace of mind that their pet will be taken care of once they’re gone. It takes away the uncertainty of whether the family can take care of it, and it’s so much better for the pet not to go to a shelter,” Patti says.

This is especially true for older animals, like one of the recently placed cats. “For a 13-year-old cat that has always lived in a home, to be put in a shelter would be heartbreaking. We avoided that, and the patient was very appreciative,” Patti adds.

“We love our partnership!” says Kim. “Our volunteers know that we can make a difference in the pet’s life at a time when all focus is on the patient’s health. It is a win-win situation for the patient and pet.”

We agree! That’s why HSI hosted a recent Bingo night to help fund some of the services Purrfect Friends provides. All the proceeds went into a special account just for Hosparus Health patients’ pets. We are also collecting pet food and supplies at our New Albany office.

“Being able to offer pet care and placement services to our patients and their beloved pets means so much to them, and to us,” says Vonya. “We hope this wonderful collaboration can continue for a long time to come!”

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