When the hourglass starts to run out of sand for humans, our families can put us into hospice care so that we may live out our final days comfortably and cared for. Many animals, however, don’t have that luxury. Pets are often abandoned and put to sleep when the burden of their care becomes too much for their carers to take on.
One woman in Mansfield, England, is changing that for a few lucky dogs, however. Nicola Coyle is a retired nurse who has worked in dog rescue throughout her life. Retirement hasn’t stopped her from taking care of dogs in need, though, and now, she runs the Grey Muzzle Canine Hospice Project.
Coyle’s mission is simple: find dogs in shelters that are expected to live only for another six months or less, and make sure their remaining time on Earth is as wonderful as possible. The dogs come to her in various conditions — some have to remain at home, while others are still healthy enough to go on car rides or walks. They get to enjoy “people food” such as ice cream and steak, and each dog gets a birthday party so that their life can be celebrated.
The cost per dog generally amounts to about 500£, and Coyle usually takes in 2-3 dogs at a time (though she understandably sometimes needs a break between dogs, as the emotional toll of losing pets over and over again is taxing). She’s started accepting donations so that she can continue her efforts and help other pet owners pay for vet bills and cremation costs as they care for their own pets as their lives come to an end.
You can learn more about the organization’s efforts and contribute to the cause here.