There are millions of animals homeless, sick, and dying. In the UK you can find dogs in hospice, off the streets and enjoying their last days. According to the ASPCA;
“Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats). The number of dogs and cats euthanized in U.S. shelters annually has declined from approximately 2.6 million in 2011. This decline can be partially explained by an increase in the percentage of animals adopted, and an increase in the number of stray animals successfully returned to their owners.”
One nurse came up with a solution for senior animals.
Nicola Coyle runs The Grey Muzzle Organization in the UK. She gives senior animals who have six months or less to live a place to get loved and the care they need. Dogs in hospice are treated like royalty at The Grey Muzzle Organization. During their final days, they are treated to steak dinners and fast food.
They are shown compassion, cared for up to their last moments instead of being cold and scared.
The job isn’t easy, but it is rewarding.
Coyle likes that she is making a difference in the lives of the animals. She hopes that the dogs in hospice feel loved up to their final days. With steak dinners, fast food, and ice cream, what dog wouldn’t feel loved?
Coyle and the helpers of the organization make sure each pet has a great experience. She said;
“It can be an utterly heartbreaking job. But I just can’t bear the thought of them spending their final moments without the love they deserve.”
It is said to report that for many of the animals it’s the only time they’ve been treated well. A lot of the animals were abandoned in their final days.
Final Days for Dogs in Hospice
Since many animals are abandoned, Coyle and her volunteers make sure they feel safe. They don’t have to worry about where to sleep, or if they’ll have anything to eat.
“We’ll also take them down to the local pub – it’s really dog-friendly, and they’ll get a steak dinner too. Many have not led a very nice life too, used for breeding or guard dogs, so when they’ve become unwell, they’re not useful anymore and left.”
Yes, many of the dogs in hospice are sick and have only days, maybe months to live, some have stayed longer. It’s nice to know that Coyle’s teenage children help out. With so many dogs in hospice, it is hard not to get attached.
“The longest I had one is one year, the shortest was two weeks. It’s so rewarding when you can make those times special. I don’t know when their birthdays are, so we throw all of them a birthday party.”
Her work takes a lot but is worth the effort!
It’s true that it takes at least $500 on each dog to make sure they have the best time. Coyle reports that most of the money comes out of her own pocket, but that a lot of it comes from fundraisers and grants. To her, the job is worth the money spent. And although the dogs in hospice can’t tell her how they feel, she knows they appreciate her efforts. Coyle wishes she could help more of them, going on to say;
“They just want to feel loved and safe. I really believe they should get a nice ending.”
These pets want what every pet wants; a happy life.