Kimber Gets a New ‘Leash’ on Life

By Judy Layne

On May 16, 2019, Kimber was rescued by SPCA Enforcement Officers, along with 5 other dogs and 2 cats.  Although Kimber had somehow managed to survive for 17 long years, her life was not filled with the care, love and attention that every animal deserves.

When Kimber arrived at the SPCA, she was very timid and would cry when being picked up.  The veterinary team determined that she was deaf, had an enlarged heart and almost no teeth. Because of her heart condition and age, Kimber was placed in the SPCA’s Palliative Care Program.

The program was a perfect fit for this sweet little girl.  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 Kimber 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 109 animals have participated.  The program is a proud reflection of the SPCA’s No-Kill policy.

After two months at the shelter, Kimber was the only one of the group of 8 rescued animals that hadn’t been adopted.  Then one day, Kimber’s life changed.  Brett Pentz, a volunteer dog walker at the shelter, was given Kimber to walk.  He sent a picture to his partner Lorena Beaver.  Lorena says “We thought Kimber was the cutest thing!  She looked like a little wolf. Brett told me that she was 17 years old and the only one of her group still waiting to find a loving home.  Our hearts melted and we knew we couldn’t leave her behind.”

The couple went to the shelter the next day to visit Kimber.  Lorena explains “When we decided to take her home, we knew about her health issues but didn’t know at that point that her medical expenses would be covered by the SPCA.  That being said, this is a great feature of the Palliative Care Program.  It lessens the burden on us as foster parents by not having to worry about the cost.”

The couple had never fostered an animal before, but they were ready and willing to open their hearts and home to a palliative pet in need.  Before long, Kimber was en route to her forever home! Lorena shares “Kimber was scared on the drive home and sought comfort in my lap. Once we were home though, it didn’t take her long to explore the place and test-drive all of her new beds and blankets!”  Brett adds “Our two cats had never even seen a dog and it took them a while to come around, but now, they all get along great.”

Kimber is thriving in her new home. Brett explains “We knew right away that she had a spunky demeanor and over the year she’s been with us, her big personality has grown tremendously.” Kimber used to be afraid of people, but she’s made a complete 180° and nowadays she loves soaking up all the attention she gets.  “She adores our next-door neighbours and will sit in their driveway hoping that if she waits long enough, they’ll come outside to see her,” chuckles Lorena.  Kimber’s favorite things to do? “She loves to go on walks.  Even at her old age, once her leash is on, she runs up the driveway with excitement” relates Brett. “She also loves snuggles and napping!”

Kimber and her foster fur-mama stop by the SPCA Hospital for frequent check-ups to make sure she continues to thrive.  Lorena relates “Kimber gets so excited to see the people who used to care for her.  That says a lot about the great folks at the SPCA.”

The couple shares “We’re thrilled that we celebrated Kimber’s 18th birthday and 1-year ‘Gotcha’ Day’ on June 22nd! Lots of people would have counted Kimber out because of her age, but it’s amazing to see what love does for these animals.  We may have met Kimber late in life, but we will make it her best life while she is here. In return, she blesses us with unconditional love.” They encourage people to consider fostering a palliative care animal.  “It’s one of the most rewarding things you can do.”


Please give a round of ‘ap-paws’ to the Nova Scotia SPCA Palliative Care Program.  Your generous support gives deserving animals like Kimber a second chance at a happy life.  To learn more about this life-changing program and how you can help, click here.


Judy Layne

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.