Pet sitting sought for cancer patients
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.’’
Cancer Society manager Michelle Hunt says pet sitting is a practical way to help those undergoing cancer treatment.