There’s nothing more comforting than the happy face of a beloved pet. Understandably, it’s often the first thing someone recovering from breast cancer surgery might want to see when they arrive back home from the hospital. But this isn’t always possible – especially when there isn’t anyone else available to help care for their pets while undergoing surgery and recovery.
That’s why the Breast Cancer Resource Center and Wags & Whiskers, a local non-profit organization, have partnered in a new program to make sure that patients and pets are re-united without having to face the possibility of surrendering them to a shelter.
“My dogs were taken care of and loved on – a true blessing,” said Amber, a BCRC client who recently underwent breast cancer surgery and left her pet dogs Pearl and Cleo under the watchful and loving care of Wags & Whiskers volunteer Angela Ritter. “Miss Angela was perfect,” said Amber, emphasizing the peace of mind she had while apart from her pets. “She would text. She would send pictures. The communication between she and I reassured me that Pearl and Cleo were well taken care of.”
“It was really wonderful helping someone going through the breast cancer process because I’ve gone through it myself twice,” said Angela. “It was also wonderful to allow Amber to concentrate on recovering. I stayed in communication with Amber every day.”
This program provides temporary pet care services for individuals undergoing and recovering from breast cancer treatment. Any current BCRC client who is facing treatment and has a pet needing temporary placement should ask their Patient Navigator about these services to start the referral process.
“I was just happy to see them -- tails wagging, bringing toys,” said Amber about her reunion with Pearl and Cleo. “They were really excited. It was really heartwarming.”
“It’s kind of like being at the airport when you see loved ones saying “hello,” said Angela. “It was joyous to see their happiness when they were re-united.”
The vision of Wags & Whiskers President Robert Shaw is that a pet owner should never have to choose between their own healthcare needs and surrendering their pets to a shelter. Through this program, Wags & Whiskers and BCRC hope to preserve the precious relationship between an individual and their beloved pets, and help contribute to the healing process by having a joyful reunion to look forward to.
Amber encourages others to check out this program. “They are very loving and they are there to help,” said Amber. “You shouldn’t feel any type of hesitation to go through with the program and to leave your babies – animals – with the volunteer because it worked out so flawlessly.”
To learn more, ask your Patient Navigator, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to https://wagsandwhiskerstx.org.
If you are interested in becoming a temporary pet placement volunteer, call David Pasztor, Wags & Whiskers Pet Care Coordinator, at (512) 363-5858.
If you or someone you know is facing breast cancer and could use our support, please visit our website or call our helpline at 512-524-2560.
Consider making a donation to BCRC and give the gift that makes a real difference for the women in Central Texas facing breast cancer right NOW. Visit bcrc.org to learn more about how we can help, or click here if you wish to give back today.