Hospice helps care for patients' pets

Columbus Hospice serves more than 300 patients and for many of them, Terri Roberts says, “their pet is all the family they have.”

That’s why Roberts, the organization’s director of volunteer services, is excited about the new program that Columbus Hospice will begin in January.

It’s called Pet Peace of Mind and is being financed by a $5,000 grant from Banfield Charitable Trust, a public charity that focuses on pets.

“We are one of only three hospices in the country chosen. The others are in California and North Carolina,” said Roberts, who wrote the grant requesting the funds.

The idea for the program came from Delana Taylor McNac, who began a similar program at the Green Country Hospice in Tulsa, Okla., where she is the chaplain. McNac is a former veterinarian.

“I know one of our patients has a cat, and it’s everything to him,” Roberts said. “With this program we can make sure the pets are cleaned, groomed, get their shots, are well fed and any medical problems can be taken care of.”

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