From left: Volunteer Manager Deborah Kotrady, Nia Maxwell, Shannen Marchu, Barbara Bradford, Roxann Newton, Dr. Laurie Aleixo, Krystal Misner, Joanna Whittaker, Diana Traegler and Sharon Brown.
Photo and article by MaryAnn Ketcham.
Pets are loyal companions, cherished family members and confidants. Their love knows no boundaries, and with a look, snuggles or a quirky dance, they bring comfort even on the worst of days.
The reliance between a pet and its owner is mutual; best friendships work that way. So, when a pet owner enters hospice and can no longer tend to his ie her pet’s needs, it causes anxiety and distress.
Treasured Pets, a program offered through Treasure Health’s Treasure Coast Hospice service, helps alleviate some of that concern. Volunteers, donors and partner veterinarians are the lifeblood of this endeavor that helps care for and maintain the pets’ routine and general health while its owner travels the hospice journey.
Typically, trained volunteers deliver pet food, play with and walk the pets and transport them to and from their groomers and veterinarians.
As the country celebrated National Pet Day on April 11, compassionate volunteers Diana Traegler and Sharon Brown, together with Volunteer Manager Deborah Kotrady and Vice President of Human Resources Angella Williams marked the occasion by visiting the doctors and staff of the Treasured Pets’ partner veterinarians.
Presenting certificates of appreciation, balloons and a bag full of goodies, they graciously thanked and praised the 13 vets for their commitment.
“This program is one of the best things out there,” said Port Salerno Animal Hospital’s Jason White, DVM.“Pets are most in need when families can’t care for them.”
Offering preferential scheduling for shots, emergency treatments and assisting with pet placement should the hospice patient pass are but a few examples of the kindnesses displayed by all participating vets.
“Everyone at Morningside Animal Hospital is truly honored to be a part of this pet care program,” Dr. Jennifer DiTrapani said. “It is our pleasure to do our part in helping to ease the families’ minds during difficult times.”
Treasured Pets is funded by individual donations and by the Pegasus Foundation’s Help Us Help Them project.
Volunteer Diana Traegler offers this perspective about the Treasured Pets endeavor: “Taking care of the pets IS taking care of the hospice patient.”
Treasure Health is grateful for all of its current partners in the Treasured Pets program:
- Nala’s New Life Rescue
- Morningside Animal Hospital
- Sandpiper Animal Hospital
- Port Salerno Animal Hospital
- Prima Vista Animal Hospital
- VCA Tri-County Animal Hospital
- Kelly’s Animal Hospital
- Animal Emergency & Referral Center
- North Port St. Lucie Animal Hospital
- Savannah Animal Hospital
- Coastal Animal Hospital
- All Creatures Animal Hospital
- Megan Davis DVM
About Treasure Health
Treasure Health is a nonprofit organization of caring professionals and dedicated volunteers whose mission is to partner with patients, families and the community to enable well-being through extraordinary care, specialized services and life-enhancing education. Founded in 1982 as a hospice organization, Treasure Health has grown to serve 3,000 patients annually in Martin and St. Lucie counties. Today, thanks to the generous support of donors to the Treasure Coast Hospice Foundation, Treasure Health offers a family of services that includes Treasure Coast Hospice, Treasure Health Palliative Care, Treasure Health Pediatric Care and Treasure Health Grief Support.