Baby gets a second chance

It was unshakeable loyalty that brought Baby, a pitbull mix, into Community Hospice & Palliative Care’s Pet Peace of Mind® (PPOM) program.

In December 2017, prior to becoming a patient, Baby’s owner had taken a fall in her home. It was Baby’s instinct to comfort that drove her to stay at her owner’s side for three days, without food. Miraculously, Baby had no accidents in the house during this time. When her owner enrolled in Community Hospice and Palliative Care’s services, she immediately signed Baby up for the PPOM program.  Once she knew Baby would be taken care of, this was a relief for her and she passed a couple of days later.

A problem was soon discovered: Baby lacked training; she knew how to sit, but not much else. Week after week, Baby was advertised on Community Hospice’s social channels in hopes of finding her a new home, but her lack of training was a hurdle for prospective adopters. Baby’s care was becoming costly as she accrued daily boarding fees that were coming out of the Pet Peace of Mind® non-profit budget.

One of the marketing and communications members at Community Hospice heard about a special program called TAILS (Teaching Animals & Inmates Life Skills), and thought that Baby would be the ideal candidate for the program. The team member reached out through the program’s website. Within 10 minutes, President Jen Deane of Pit Sisters -- which implements the TAILS program -- requested to meet Baby. After a successful meeting, Jen decided Baby was indeed a great candidate for their program and requested to take her for the next session’s enrollment.

TAILS is a collaborative effort that unites prison inmates and hard-to-adopt shelter dogs. One of the largest programs of its kind in the country, TAILS is fully implemented and paid for by Pit Sisters.

Through partnerships with city shelters across Northeast Florida, the State of Florida Correctional System, and sheriffs’ offices, dogs are placed in correctional facilities to be trained, socialized and cared for so they have a chance of finding a new loving forever home.

TAILS benefits dogs, trainers, families, prison staff and entire communities. Pet Peace of Mind® Volunteer Coordinator, Chris Whitney, has been invited to attend Baby’s graduation from TAILS, which will take place in a few months. When asked about this opportunity, Chris responded: “I’m just so happy for her and grateful to Pit Sisters. Baby is a very sweet dog and I am sure this is the opportunity she needs to find that wonderful forever home.”

 For more information about the Pet Peace of Mind® program, including how you can get involved with fostering or adopting available pets, please contact Chris Whitney at 904.407.5204.