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Nikki Hospice Foundation for Pets

February 13, 2011

Benicia Patch

The Nikki Hospice Foundation for Pets is dedicated to the idea that a much loved pet’s  final days needn’t be its worst days.  The group, led by Kathryn Maricchino, PhD., is headquartered in Vallejo but boasts a long tradition of ties to Benicia.

"Dr. Jill Sperry, is our primary veterinarian, and works at the Benicia VCA Animal Hospital,” said Maricchino.  “Dr. Sperry has served on our board of directors for several years.”

The hospice doesn’t board dying animals but rather pairs pet owners with vets who offer advice on end of life options and train the owners in caring for their pets.

The organization, named after Maricchino’s cat that had to be euthanized in 1996, strives to provide veterinary hospice services to the pets of needy and elderly pet owners who do not have the financial means to cover these costs themselves. 

"Although we are not a facility that takes in dying companion animals, I generally receive at least two to three calls a week for assistance,” said Maricchino.  “Since we mainly refer people to hospice veterinarians in their immediate area (or network with them to get them the help they need), it would be safe to say that we have at least 4 to 5 animals in hospice care in their own homes at any given time on a monthly basis.”

 Maricchino is grateful to another Benicia business, Pet Food Express, for their involvement in the hospice program.  “They are the sole provider for the special raw diets we feed our animals as well as for their special litter.  We are very grateful for their on-going generosity.”

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