Nicola Coyle, a retired nurse from Nottingham, UK, runs a canine hospice from her home. She spends her time, energy, and finances to make the final days of some unfortunate dogs much happier. Although she is not a veterinarian, she has a special place in her heart for dogs who are dying and homeless. She finds dogs that are nearing the end of their lives in a shelter and she adopts them. In the final weeks and months of their lives, she gives them special treats and, most importantly, allows them to feel the love of being part of a family. Why is a dog hospice necessary, and how did Nicola get involved?
Sick And Abandoned
There are a variety of reasons why a beloved pet can be abandoned or left in an animal shelter when they get sick. Sometimes an owner cannot afford to continue paying for their pet’s medical expenses. Rather than watch it die a slow death with no medical care, they feel that it is best to give the dog up to an animal shelter. Some owners have dogs to work as hunting dogs or on a farm. When the dog gets sick, the owners give it up for adoption because the dog can no longer serve their purpose. Others people just don’t have the emotional capacity to watch their beloved pet die.
Regardless of the circumstances that led them there, an animal shelter can be a very lonely place for a sick dog. All dogs, especially those who have been raised as pets, crave love and attention, and these needs only grow stronger when a dog is very sick. Aside from missing their families, dogs that are older or visibly sick are far less likely to get adopted. At best, dogs in this predicament will live out the rest of their days in a lonely shelter. At worst, these dogs will be euthanized due to overcrowding in the she
How Nicola Helps
Nicola is the owner of The Grey Muzzle Canine Hospice Project, a non-profit organization. She has made it her mission in life to give dying dogs the end of life they deserve. Each dog that Nicola takes in becomes a member of her family. She gives the dogs special treats like steak and ice cream. She even makes sure to give every dog a birthday party, even if it’s not actually their birthday.
When Nicola first started this organization, she did everything with her own money and inside her own home. Some dogs die shortly after she adopts them, and other dogs live long past the veterinarian’s predictions, but it usually takes around $600 to care for one dog. Although she still houses the dogs in her home, she is now able to offset the cost of caring for these dogs with donations that she receives. To make sure that each dog receives the care and attention they need and deserve, Nicola only takes in two dogs at a time.
The Emotional Toll
So far, Nicola has adopted thirty hospice dogs. Although her work is very important, it is certainly not easy. Over the course of a few years, Nicola has opened her hearted and her home to dozens of dogs. With the exception of the two dogs that she currently has, all of the dogs have died. To cope with the grief of losing her furry friends, Nicola allows herself to take time after one of her dogs dies. Her family has also been a great source of strength.
Nicola’s efforts have attracted attention to a very important issue. Older sicker dogs are the most likely to end up in pounds and animal shelters, and they are the least likely to get adopted. Her selflessness and incredible emotional strength make the final moments of loving dogs much sweeter than they would be in a lonely shelter. Nicola’s loving sacrifices are heartwarming!
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