n2angel Nancy Benevento-Brown gives a treat to Lionel, who is in 'Angel Care' hospice for terminally ill rescue animals at Island Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary.
gives a treat to Lionel, who is in 'Angel Care' hospice for terminally ill rescue animals at Island Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary
"We cook for them every day," said Nancy Benevento-Brown
"Lionel really like noodles, too."
Lionel is fortunate.
has found a home at Island Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary
in the organization's Angel Care Watch program.
Mrs. Benevento-Brown, a nurse who founded and runs the sanctuary, established the program a few years ago as hospice care for terminally ill dogs without a family.
"All they want is comfort, and that's what they come here for," she
Many of the animals Mrs. Benevento-Brown
takes in are first found in area pounds where options and resources for medically needy animals are limited.
"It happens every day," said Michelle Reichlin, executive director of FIDO's Companion Rescue in Avon, Ohio, that often works with Mrs. Benevento-Brown.
They get anything they want, everything they need," Mrs. Benevento-Brown
"It's palliative care."
The dogs receive extensive medical care, but Mrs. Benevento-Brown refrains from doing anything invasive.
focuses on providing the highest quality of life she
can for the dogs without putting them through stressful procedures that won't necessarily have a good impact.
"We watch for any sign of pain.
They tell you when it's time," she
Dogs in the Angel Care Watch program can be adopted, but Mrs. Benevento-Brown
doesn't ever really expect it to happen.
It's a rare person who can handle falling in love with a dog knowing their time together is limited.
"It would have to be that very special person," she
"People don't realize the toll it takes on you.
It's extremely difficult."
Sometimes dogs will get lucky beyond their rescuers' wildest dreams.
For Mrs. Benevento-Brown
, a rat terrier with mammary cancer is a prime example.
Lil'Won not only found a home with an elderly man who loves her
dearly, but all of her
future medical care is being paid for by an anonymous donor.
But Mrs. Benevento-Brown
doesn't pity those that aren't adopted.
They have a comfortable home at the sanctuary and will die peacefully, surrounded by people who adore them.
"It's an honor to be able to give them dignity when they do cross over, to hold them and let them know that they are loved," she