Ensuring care for pet companions
Richard and Nancy Berner loved their cat Andy. He was their companion, even going on walks around their apartment building with them. But the Berners were older and concerned about what would happen to Andy if they got to the point they could no longer care for him. Kansas State University’s Perpetual Pet Care Program (PPCP) in the College of Veterinary Medicine provided the solution.
PPCP provides pets with a lifetime of medical care and a loving home when an owner is no longer able to provide care. The college’s extensive foster network and veterinary experts are committed to care for enrolled PPCP pets for the rest of their lives. Any remaining funds support patients, students and research at the Veterinary Health Clinic.
The Berners enrolled Andy in the program in 2016. In February 2021, the Berners were no longer able to care for Andy, and their daughter, Connie Spidell, was unable to take Andy in. Spidell contacted K-State and Andy was brought to K-State for a check-up and to be adopted into a new home. Parting from Andy was difficult and emotional for Spidell, but she appreciated that the people behind PPCP would provide Andy the love and care he needs for the rest of his life.
“Knowing that Andy would be taken care of should something happen to them provided great peace of mind to my parents,” Spidell said. “They researched a number of options but felt K-State’s program was the best for them. They were in their early 80s when they signed up for the program and knew there was a chance that Andy would outlive them. The fact that they could document his likes/dislikes and his personality was important to them. It also provided great peace of mind to me. I adore Andy but was not able to adopt him myself. It was very hard for me to let him go, but both Joan and Melissa at K-State were efficient and very compassionate. Their approach made giving him up a bit easier.”
Andy was adopted by a college staff member, Gail Eyestone, who has kept Connie updated on Andy’s new adventures. “I greatly appreciate the updates on his status,” Spidell said. “It provides great comfort and peace of mind to both my mother and me to know that he has found a new home and is settling in.”
“I learned about Andy when Drs. Kate and Butch KuKanich came into my office one day and told me about his situation,” Eyestone said. “I had been without a cat for a few years since my last cat, Cricket, passed away at the age of 22. They knew I might be open to providing a home for another cat and I had been considering it for a while. I am familiar with caring for an older cat, so it wasn’t a hard sell. They showed me a photo of him — he’s really handsome, with big blue eyes, like Paul Newman.
“For the person who accepts an animal from the Perpetual Pet Care Program, there is a big benefit knowing all the animal’s medical care is paid for by the endowment established by the family,” Eyestone said. “This is especially important if you adopt an older animal, when they start to need more medical care.”
PPCP provides peace of mind for pet owners and ensures continued care of their beloved pets, as Spidell will attest.
“My parents spoke very highly of the program and were very pleased with the enrollment and ongoing support. They felt that K-State cared about Andy’s welfare and would make all efforts to accommodate his preferences,” Spidell said. “While I was not involved in the initial enrollment or selection, once I made the final call, the process was straightforward and simple. I was very emotional about letting him go, and everyone I spoke to was understanding, efficient and just plain nice. I definitely felt that he was going forward to a new home that would be better for him. As well, knowing that if needed, someone could have come to get him very quickly is reassuring. The program definitely provides peace of mind that your pet will be safe and cared for.”