Pet sit­ting sought for can­cer pa­tients

The Leader (Nelson) - - FRONT PAGE - CARLY GOOCH * To show in­ter­est or reg­is­ter, con­tact the Can­cer

Nel­son can­cer pa­tients with pets may find it eas­ier to get a dog sit­ter through a new Can­cer So­ci­ety ini­tia­tive.

Radiation treat­ment for can­cer pa­tients re­quires a trip down to Christchurch, time off work, and some­one to look after much loved pets.

Can­cer So­ci­ety man­ager Michelle Hunt said it was al­ready a stress­ful time with­out having to think about find­ing a sit­ter and or­gan­is­ing pick-ups, drop-offs and ken­nel bills.

The Can­cer So­ci­ety re­cently put out a plea on so­cial me­dia for some­one to take care of a bor­der col­lie in Motueka while its owner trav­elled south for treat­ment.

Hunt said the re­sponse was over­whelm­ing.

She said within a day of reach­ing out to the pub­lic there had been more than 500 views, sev­eral com­ments and calls from potential car­ers.

This sparked the idea to cre­ate a reg­is­ter to match pets with foster homes.

‘‘It’s some­thing prac­ti­cal – a prac­ti­cal way of help­ing some­one.’’

The Can­cer So­ci­ety pro­vides ser­vices and sup­port for peo­ple liv­ing with can­cer, and their fam­i­lies.

Hunt said the away time could vary from a day to sev­eral weeks.

‘‘Some­times it’s just for a day while they fly down to Christchurch for tests while radiation could take from two to six weeks.’’

The so­ci­ety does ev­ery­thing in its power to en­sure pa­tients and their pets are looked after, she said.

‘‘We’ll do what­ever we can to sup­port peo­ple un­der­go­ing can­cer treat­ment.

‘‘For ex­am­ple we looked after a large rot­tweiler in our of­fice while the owner trav­elled out of the district for treat­ment.’’

Hunt said a reg­is­ter with will­ing pet sit­ters could match up pets with foster car­ers any­where in the re­gion, in­clud­ing Golden Bay, Rai Val­ley and Murchi­son.

‘‘There might be some peo­ple who don’t want a pet full­time or maybe they’re in be­tween dogs.

‘‘It’s just one of those ex­tra ser­vices that we might be able to pro­vide with the help of the pub­lic.’’

STU HUNT/STUFF

Can­cer So­ci­ety man­ager Michelle Hunt says pet sit­ting is a prac­ti­cal way to help those un­der­go­ing can­cer treat­ment.

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