Minnesotans provide hospice care for animals in need

Minnesotans are stepping up to take care of sick pets at the end of their lives. (FOX 9)

If you saw Peanut the pug strolling through your neighborhood, you might think she was a little pampered - and you'd be right. 

Nick Lindgren is the one behind the stroller.

"Her favorite things are walks, and she also loves Lizzo and anything 'Real Housewives.'" 

But life wasn't always this way. 

"Her old owners moved out and just left her and a bag of food, no water. She had tumors all over her belly. Her eyes were all big and encrusted from infections that hadn't been taken care of," Nick said. 
When she arrived at the Animal Humane Society, Peanut was already 10 years old. Then her infected eyes had to be removed. There she was, an old dog with special needs in desperate need of a miracle. 

Nick remembers the first time he saw Peanut on the Human Society's website. He knew he had to have her. He found out when she was going up for adoption and put a plan in place.

"I was the first one in line and ran to her and then it was pretty much love at first sight." 
Nick has a soft spot for animals no one else wants. Over the years he's also adopted Miss Prissy and Emma from the Humane Society. Both were older and both had cancer.

"They just need somewhere to go and be happy and feel loved." 
Dr. Graham Brayshaw is the Director of Animal Services at the Humane Society. He's always amazed at people like Nick who step up when few others will.

"And there are still people knowing all of this that want to give them a good life a good home," he said.
Of course, the Animal Humane Society is known for adoptions, but one of their lesser known programs is hospice.

"We do try to look at ones specifically for this program that do have a really good quality of life. It's a worthwhile time we're gonna get with them and they don't need extensive medical care of any sort," Dr. Brayshaw said.
Every year, hundreds of animals that are stable but at the end of life are adopted out so they can be comfortable and cared for, no matter how much time they have left. 

Two cats in hospice care lounge in a Minnesota home. (FOX 9)

Jacob Fahrendorff is a young millennial who is juggling two careers and a busy social life. Yet he found the time this year to adopt not one but two cats with terminal feline leukemia. 

Melvin and Alfred are now best buddies and can live together under one roof because they both tested positive for the disease, which is contagious among cats. 

"Sure it's gonna cut the life expectancy we already know that because their immune systems aren't as strong as ours. And as long as you keep them strong and healthy they will fight it," Jacob said.
Jacob brings his cats in for regular check-ups, with all costs covered by the Humane Society. At home, he says, there's no additional "work" involved.

"Really they're just like any other cat. That's all it is. Just give them love, right?"

If you'd like more information on the Animal Humane Society's hospice program, their website is www.animalhumanesociety.org.