Bishop GA, Long CC, Carlsten KS, Kennedy KC, Shaw JR. The Colorado State University Pet Hospice program: end-of-life care for pets and their families. J Vet Med Educ. 2008 Winter;35(4):525-31

PMID: 19228904


While the concept of hospice care for humans has existed for decades and is an integral part of the dying process, providing hospice care for companion animals is a new and growing service. Veterinarians and pet-owners have recently recognized that there is a need and a demand to care for pets with terminal illnesses. The Colorado State University Pet Hospice program meets those needs through supporting pets, their owners, and veterinarians, and educating professional veterinary students in end-of-life care. Developed in 2003, Pet Hospice is a student-run program that trains veterinary students in animal hospice care, and matches them with the family and veterinarian of a terminally ill pet in the community. Since its inception, 101 veterinary student volunteers have been trained and provided support to 68 families. Continued expansion of the client base, enlargement of the network of veterinarians and volunteers, and positive program evaluations reflect the strong impact of Pet Hospice and its support from veterinary students, veterinarians, and the community.