Due to the nature of our work, we have specific policies in place to ensure we provide the best possible care for our residents. Much as we whole-heartedly approve of normal good practice rescue policies (such as being no-kill and neutering all animals), standard rescue policies won’t apply to many of our residents, given that they will be terminally ill when they arrive.

Admissions policy

The Hospice is open to any species of animal who is in the rescue system. We do not take in animals who are in homes but we can offer advice and support to people about how to provide palliative hospice care for their companion animals in their own homes. Animals must have a diagnosis of a terminal condition, confirmed by a vet report. We ask to receive any vet reports that were made about the resident prior to resident joining us, and for our vets to have the opportunity to make contact with the vet who made the report, so as to get the best picture of the resident’s condition and to make decisions on the best treatment.

Neutering, vaccinations and micro-chipping.

Neutering a terminally ill animal isn’t in their best interests (unless it is advised on medical grounds, eg to improve quality of life) so we will not neuter animals as standard practice. The need to vaccinate will be determined on an individual basis, on the advice of our vets. Residents will be micro-chipped, if appropriate.

Duty of care

We have an enormous duty of care to the residents, and we will do everything in our power to make their time here as peaceful, calm and comfortable as we can. We will work closely with our vets, and with specialist hospice vets as required, to ensure they receive the best, most appropriate treatment. We will ensure that all their physical and emotional needs are met, that they get the love and attention they need, and that they get the medical care they need, and every decision made will be done so with their best interests at its core.

Euthanasia policy

Given the nature of our work, it is impossible to say we will never euthanise an animal. If it is in the best interests of the resident, and on the advice of veterinary professionals, we will take the heart-breaking decision to end or prevent suffering. However, this will only be done as a last case, and we will do everything in our power to allow our residents to tell us when they are ready to pass and to do so in their own way, if their welfare allows. Every decision will be taken on its own merit, and we will always make decisions based on the needs of the residents in conjunction with our vets, not on our own feelings or desires. We will be open and honest about how and why we reached the decision we did.

Admission queries from rescues and pound pullers

We are happy to answer any questions you have regarding the care we give, our policies, and complete relevant questionnaires from rescues and pound pullers to asses our polices and procedures. We are also happy to provide our vet contact details should a rescue or pound puller wish to contact our vets for references.

Transparency

We believe in and operate a policy of transparency. On each resident’s page we will document their time here with us, updates on their condition, post scans of their vet reports and bills, decisions made and reasons, and any donations used to help the resident will be shown on their page with the initials of their donor and how their donations were used. Receipts will be kept for all payments, and accounts submitted to OSCR.

We operate an open-door policy, so people can visit the Hospice, meet our residents (if they are up to visitors), and meet us and our family and have a cup of tea. Please call in advance to ensure we are home, and to get directions.