Compassion Project: end of life care in an animal shelter

I recently read an article about a group of volunteers who spent the evening with dogs that were going to be euthanized the next day.  They wanted to ensure that these animals felt loved and special before they died.  I was very touched by the humanity of these volunteers.  I wondered how I would do with such a task.  As a hospice professional I have been with many people during the last days or hours of their life.  My patients knew they were dying, their bodies were changing and the disease process was running its course.  We had always offered opportunity for closure and reflection for our patients and as much as possible provided a very supportive environment for their final days. 

Unfortunately these animals were mostly healthy.  Their date of death was scheduled on a calendar.  The real cause of death would be homelessness, being alone, no one to care for them.  How incredibly sad.  I truly appreciate the efforts and selflessness of these volunteers.  To learn more about the Compassion Project, click here.

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