We’re sure that many of you remember Meeka, the sweet girl who touched so many hearts in February. Meeka came to the Nova Scotia SPCA through a cruelty seizure in Pictou, having severe head trauma. Luckily, her story has a happy ending, as Meeka found a loving forever home with the foster family who cared for her. Her road to recovery is still long, but she is thriving in her new home and enjoying life to the fullest.
You may not know that another precious little soul was seized along with Meeka. His name is Biscuit and we wanted to share his story. The first 12 years of Biscuit’s life were not filled with all the care and love he deserved. When he arrived at the SPCA Colchester Shelter he was thin, matted, had cataracts and heart disease. Initially, Biscuit was very withdrawn. He never moved from the back of his kennel and always kept his head low. After being diagnosed with a 4/5 grade heart murmur, he was placed in the SPCA’s Palliative Care Program.
The program was a perfect fit for this cutie-pie. While to many people, the term ‘palliative care’ is associated with dying, the Nova Scotia SPCA’s Palliative Care Program is about living. It’s about ensuring that senior pets and those with compromised health like Biscuit get to live out the rest of their days in a foster home filled with love, caring, comfort and happiness. Since the program began in 2009, over 45 animals have participated. The program is a proud reflection of the SPCA’s No-Kill policy.
Sandra Flemming, SPCA Provincial Director of Animal Care, tells prospective foster families that “all they have to do is provide the love. The SPCA covers all other costs including food and medical care.” With hospitals on-site at three SPCA shelters, required veterinary care can be provided at no charge to the foster while the animal lives in a loving forever foster family.
Jessica said that “Biscuit stole my heart the first time I met him. He seemed to gravitate towards me like I was his safe place.” Jessica had previously fostered 4 dogs and a multitude of kittens and cats, but Biscuit was the first palliative care pet she considered fostering. “We had a family discussion since it’s a big decision to make when you have small children. My kids completely understand that Biscuit won’t be with us for a long time, but they know that we can give him the best life we can while he is still here,” Jessica shared.
Biscuit had to make some adjustments to his new home. “He wasn’t house-trained, so we’re working on this. He’s almost completely there,” stated Jessica. “Biscuit loved our kids from the get-go but was quite timid with my husband at first. He’s still somewhat hand-shy.” Biscuit gets along great with the family’s two cats. “One of our cats enjoys trying to cuddle with him every chance she gets.” Biscuit has blossomed so much with his new family. “His favorite activities include days at the beach and long car drives,” Jessica related. “He recently learned how to swim and got the biggest smile on his face as if to say ‘Hey mom, look what I can do!’” Biscuit and his foster mom stop by the SPCA Hospital for frequent check-ups to make sure he continues to thrive. “He’s a great patient and always loves his visits with Dr. Benjamin,” said Jessica.
Jessica encourages people to consider opening their hearts and home to a palliative care animal in need. “It’s one of the most rewarding things you can do,” she said. “We feel so humbled to be able to give this little guy a second chance at the loving home he deserved in the first place. We may have met him late in his life, but we will make it his best life while he is here.”
Please give a round of ‘ap-paws’ to the Nova Scotia SPCA Palliative Care Program. Your generous support gives lucky dogs like Biscuit a second chance at a happy life. To learn more about this life-changing program and how you can help, click here.
Judy is a dedicated volunteer with the Nova Scotia SPCA and proud adoptive fur-mama to Gracie. She is committed to speaking for animals who cannot speak for themselves.