Capital Caring has announced a new program, Pet Peace of Mind®, which recognizes and actively supports the unique and very special bond between hospice patients and their companion pets. The program – to be piloted initially in the organization’s Fairfax neighborhood – launches September 15 and aligns with Capital Caring’s mission to simply improve care.

The oldest and largest hospice/palliative care service provider serving the greater Washington metro area, Capital Caring received a generous start-up grant from Banfield Charitable Trust, the organization that developed and guides the Pet Peace of Mind (PPOM) program for not-for-profit hospices across the country. Capital Caring is the only hospice in the area to participate in this remarkable, cutting-edge program.

PPOM helps patients complete their end-of-life journey without worrying about their pet’s current or future needs. Services may include assistance with pet food and cat litter, veterinary care and medications, as well as grooming and boarding – depending on the physical and/or financial needs of individual patients and their pets. “Hospice is designed to integrate care for the patient and the patient’s family—including companion pets,” said Karita Knisely, Volunteer Services Coordinator for Capital Caring’s Fairfax neighborhood. “We see a patient dealing with advanced illness as a whole, and often pets are a major part of their life.“

Anyone interested in becoming a Pet Peace of Mind volunteer may contact Ilene Thorman at 703-712-4870 or ithorman@capitalcaring.org.   Capital Caring also welcomes the support of veterinarians, groomers, boarders, and owners of pet-related businesses.