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Pet Programs growing at JourneyCare

JourneyCare has always understood the critical role animals and pets can play in our patients’ well-being.

Our Hospice CareCenters in Arlington Heights, Barrington, Chicago, Glenview and Woodstock all welcome pets to participate in patient visits.

Our long-running pet therapy program also pairs animals with patients for comfort, stress and symptom relief, and socialization. These therapy animals are a popular part of our robust volunteer program at JourneyCare.

And the organization has also helped many families find loving homes for their pets when facing critical illness or the end of life.

Now, JourneyCare is formalizing its pet placement service as we team with the Banfield Charitable Trust to launch Pet Peace of Mind. This program offers an array of services to keep patients and their pets connected during the end-of-life journey.

Pet Peace of Mind helps prevent beloved pets from being overlooked or forgotten as families deal with grief and loss during hospice care. The program seeks to understand each patient’s bond with their pet, so they can be assured their trusted companion is also receiving wonderful care.

“The Pet Peace of Mind program takes what we do one step further by embracing treasured pets as a part of the family unit,” Manager of Volunteer Services Amy O’Donnell said. “By offering this extra support—dog walking, transporting an animal to the groomer, providing some pet food or financial support for a treatment— we can bring a new level of comfort to our patients. Knowing their pet is receiving great care, too, can make such a tremendous difference.”

Nearly 60 JourneyCare volunteers are attending training seminars to learn skills for helping patients with their pet care needs. Training is open to current volunteers who have already completed JourneyCare’s core volunteer orientation. Future training sessions will be announced directly to current volunteers. For more details on the program or training requirements, contact Amy O’Donnell at aodonnell@journeycare.org or (224) 770-2412.


– By Elisabeth Mistretta, JourneyCare Content Specialist
Originally published in Together to Care, Spring 2016