Rosco jumped up, balancing himself on his owner’s leg.
It was his new owner, Sonia Butler, who adopted the Chihuahua-Jack Russell mix.
“He’s super playful and very close to me,” Butler said.
“Oh, he follows her everywhere,” added her husband, Brian.
Not too long ago, Rosco’s former owner passed away while in hospice care. The Gulfside Hospice patient left behind Rosco and his brother, Freckles. But thanks to Gulfside’s Pet Peace of Mind Program, the two energetic pups very quickly found forever homes, leaving them happy, healthy and loved.
And taken care of, in the true spirit of Gulfside.
“Freckles was a little more of the dominant dog of the two and more attached to the owner,” the dog’s new owner, Erin Crouch, said, “so he needed a little more time to figure out what was going on. After two or three days, he really perked up and figured out it was his new home.
“We tried to place him through a Jack Russell rescue, but we just fell in love.”
Through Pet Peace of Mind, Gulfside can provide in-home veterinary assistance, pet food and litter delivery, flea and tick and mobile grooming services, and also provide assistance finding the pet a forever home before or after the owner passes.
Gulfside also provides companionship volunteers, who come into the home and spend time with the patient and caregiver. And in that time, some volunteers get to know the pets, too.
Crouch, a home health provider for Gulfside, met her new dog through Pet Peace of Mind.
“(Freckles’ previous owner) was a patient of mine that I saw every week, and I got to know her and the family and the dogs really well,” Crouch said. “It was a no-brainer to adopt him.”
Gulfside Patient Care Volunteer Manager Emilia Peguero says many times once Gulfside starts looking for forever homes for the pet, many of the Gulfside staff will end up as the new owners.
“Sometimes it’s not hard to get them adopted,” Peguero said. “I just know who on staff is going to want to adopt, but we ask the families if they have a back-up plan.
“We don’t want to break anyone’s heart, just as long as the pet has a new home and is cared for.”
Gulfside will create a flier to promote the pet’s adoption, as well as advertise it on social media. And it’s not just dogs that are helped. The program also works on getting cats, birds, fish, and any other kind of animals adopted.
“We’ve got a staff member that whenever we have birds,” Peguero said, “I know she’ll want to adopt them.”
Gulfside takes and collects donations of animal supplies, then manages a team of volunteers who deliver them.
Dawn McCallus is one those volunteers.
Once she started working part-time, she was ready to devote time to helping Gulfside and its Pet Peace of Mind Program.
“Those pets are a comfort to the patient and caregivers, McCallus said. “I’m an animal lover. We have dogs, we feed stray cats,” she said.
It feels good to deliver food and other supplies, she said.
“To help the animals, it helps the patient and the caregiver, especially for the caregiver, where you’re taking that away from them — it’s one less worry for them.
“And they’re so appreciative — the caregivers are so very thankful,” McCallus said.
Pet Peace of Mind Program
This program, offered through Gulfside Healthcare, provides extra support to care for a patient’s pet through their end-of-life journey. Donations help provide veterinary care assistance, pet food and litter, flea and tick treatment, grooming care and even assistance finding the pet a new forever home through adoption.
Published December 07, 2022