Furr-Ever Thankful Series: Max & Matilda’s Hospice Foster Stories

By: Holly Crotty, TAPS Executive Director

Max sat at a municipal pound for weeks waiting for his owner to come back for him.  When his owners didn’t show up to reclaim him, we transferred him to TAPS.   Upon arrival, we determined that he had grade 2 heart block and his heart was only beating 30 beats per minute.  He was unneutered too and would not survive the surgery.  Our vet recommended minimal exercise and suggested a hospice foster home.   We knew Max’s time was limited.  He was a senior German Shepherd that seemed to love every human he met.  Unfortunately, he was not dog friendly which made finding a hospice foster home even more difficult.  

Debi and Brenda reached out to TAPS to foster Max.  They had no other pets in the home so it was an ideal placement.  They came in to meet him and it was love at first sight.  They took Max home and he fit in perfectly.  They took him home to hospice foster but at the end of June, 2020, they quickly decided they wanted him as a permanent part of their family no matter how much time he had left.  They officially adopted Max on July 9, 2020.  He peacefully passed away on August 12, 2020 in his sleep.  Debi and Brenda only had Max for a short time but he made a lifetime impact.  

On September 3, 2020, we welcomed a senior Great Dane named Matilda into TAPS.  Per the sending animal control, she was picked up as a stray and no one came looking for her.  Matilda had a big tumor hanging from her chest, but unfortunately, although the chest tumor was much more prominent, it was a bump on her front leg that caused our vet concern.  We had the leg biopsied and Matilda was diagnosed with osteocarcoma, an aggressive cancer common in large breeds like Great Danes.  At her age, and the high probability that the cancer would return, we made the decision with our vet that we would not amputate her front leg.  The vet, once again, recommended a hospice foster home.  

Debi and Brenda came out to meet Matilda and agreed to foster her.  She went home with them on October 7, 2020.  They said Matilda loves to play with her toys and lounge on their couch.  Like with Max, they didn’t take long to make her an official part of their family.  Matilda was officially adopted on October 28, 2020.  Matilda is still doing well.  She has started to limp on her leg and she receives medicine for pain management.  

Foster homes are so important to help save the lives of animals in need.  Whether you are fostering puppies and kittens in an effort to keep them healthy, senior dogs and cats that aren’t adjusting well to the shelter, or a heartworm dog that is undergoing treatment, your contribution to our efforts are greatly appreciated each and every day.  We especially value hospice foster homes that open their hearts and home to a shelter animal that you know within a short time will break your heart.  The commitment to a hospice animal is one of the most selfless gifts someone can give to a shelter dog or cat.  

Thanks to Debi and Brenda, Max passed away loved and in a home, the same way that Matilda will pass away when it comes her time.  They aren’t spending the last part of their lives in a shelter kennel, and for that I give thanks. 

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