02 Oct Pet Peace of Mind Seeks Consulting Veterinarians
The primary goal for Pet Peace of Mind (PPOM) is keeping the hospice patient and pet together during the patient’s time on hospice. PPOM trains hospices how to provide care for pets of hospice patients. The hospice provides specially trained volunteers to assist with daily care such as feeding, exercise and pet sitting. Other services may include arranging trips to the veterinarian, groomer, or boarding facility, plus developing an adoption/foster care plan for pets after the patient dies.
The patient’s existing veterinarian will be used if there is already a relationship in place. Additionally, each PPOM program must have a Consulting Veterinarian to advise or field questions in a reasonable amount of time when program partners have a pet care situation they need to discuss. Communication is almost always through phone or email. On an ongoing basis, the Consulting Veterinarian should be prepared to provide support to local hospice partners in the following ways:
- If there is no existing veterinary relationship, assist in establishing a relationship with an attending veterinarian if the need arises.
- Provide program partner with a cost range for routine surgical procedures and services in your area.
- If the local program is providing financial assistance with pet care emergencies, s/he should be willing to help develop a catastrophic care policy—i.e., what the local PPOM program will tentatively cover in an emergency situation and what part will be the patient’s responsibility if additional treatment is needed. While many of these instances will be decided on a case by case basis, some decisions can be made ahead of time.
- Help with outreach to build awareness about the program in the local animal welfare and pet care community designed to develop foster and re-homing options.
A Consulting Veterinarian should be prepared to commit some time up front to gain familiarity with the local Pet Peace of Mind program and understand the processes for the program. S/he should also be well-connected with the local animal welfare community to assist with opening doors to develop a foster care and adoption network to place a pet who will be left homeless after the patient’s death. Consulting Veterinarians are not expected to treat pets for free or at a reduced cost; their role is advisory, advocacy, and networking. Consulting Veterinarians are currently needed for PPOM programs in these locations:
- Searcy, AR
- Riverside, CA (San Bernardino and Riverside Counties)
- Viera, FL
- Lee’s Summit, MO (Cass, Lafayette, Johnson, Jackson, Clay, and Platte Counties)
- Clarks Summit, PA
- Greenville, SC
- Spartanburg, SC
- Knoxville, TN
- San Antonio, TX
- Milwaukee, WI
Background on the PPOM program was shared in a VMAE | Live! webinar on February 20, 2020 and the program recording can be viewed on the VMAE website here. If you have questions about the Consulting Veterinarian role or PPOM in general, please contact Dianne McGill at 503.363.0499 or email email@example.com.