We believe that animals are sentient beings.
We feel that companion animals deserve the highest possible quality of care at all times, which includes the end stages of their lives.
We endorse the right of animal caregivers to be fully informed about ALL end-of-life care options, as well as the right to be offered suitable support, so that at any time he or she can freely elect hospice care all the way through an unhastened dying process, palliative end-of-life care (often preceding euthanasia), or more immediate euthanasia.
We respect, understand and support the free choice made by animal caregivers in regard to end-of-life care decisions for their animals without passing judgment. At the same time, our work focuses on quality of life through the hospice journey, including how to provide care to enable a hospice-assisted natural and peaceful passing whenever feasible.
We value the animal’s will to live as well as its right to die, if possible, in its own time, fully supported so as to allow it to live out its life in full in its own family environment while ensuring the most comfortable hospice experience possible, including a pain-free and peaceful transition.
We view it as a major goal of hospice to support families through their animal’s dying process so they may feel comfortable and at peace with the natural process and do not feel compelled to elect euthanasia out of fear, panic, insufficient knowledge or inadequate resources. In animal hospice, with service providers willing and prepared to support the patient and family through a hospice-assisted natural death, euthanasia ceases to be an assumed, expected or even prevalent outcome. It is understood, however, that an animal who is being hospiced may nonetheless have to be euthanized if patient comfort cannot be adequately maintained.
We promote addressing “total pain” (as defined by Cicely Saunders) in the animal and family, giving due consideration to all the physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects involved as they may arise.
We have found, in our experience with both human and animal hospice, that patient care is at its best when it offers an integrative approach, meaning that allopathic as well as complementary or alternative options are implemented, when applicable for the greatest good of the patient. However, we fully support any approach, whether purely conventional or alternative or integrative, in the pursuit of adequately maintaining the patient’s comfort.
We believe that the families of dying animals deserve to be fully supported during the grief and bereavement that normally accompanies the anticipated loss and the physical passing of a beloved animal companion.