HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS' PETS GET CARE TOO
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ANIMALS AND THE LAW ANNOUNCES NEW PROGRAM TO ENSURE CARE FOR PETS OF HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS
The New York State Bar Association’s Special Committee on Animals and the Law announced a new voluntary program that ensures the pets of hospitalized patients will be given proper care while the patient focuses on his or her health and well-being. The program, originally created for and by St. Vincent's Hospital and Rachel Hirschfeld, was launched in New York City.
Rachel Hirschfeld is encouraging hospitals across the state to adopt similar programs, which will ensure that the pets of hospital patients are not left unattended, do not end up on the street or sent to a shelter. Individuals who may be interested in working on this program for other hospitals should contact Rachel Hirschfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forms are now available for download. The forms help hospital program coordinators assist a patient who has pets that need care and also provide the hospital with legal authority to access residences and make arrangements to see that pets are cared for while a patient is being treated.
If a patient cannot return home, there are short-term and long-term options available. Patients are typically responsible for the cost of their pet’s care, which may be provided by volunteers or third-party commercial services. Hospitals may wish to work with local shelters and rescue organizations in implementing the service.