Tracey’s Hope Hospice and Animal Rescue

Providing Light in the Darkest Hour    

Tracey’s Hope Hospice is a non-profit organization that specializes in the care of elder, sick, disabled and terminally ill pets. Operated by a team of 47 volunteers, the group provides pet loss support services, euthanization performed in the home of the pet owner, grief counseling, animal rescue for elderly and terminally ill pets, fostering for abused animals and care and help for animal rights. As the organization prepares for one of its major fundraisers on June 10, the 9th Annual Memorial Pet Walk at McDade Park, Happenings spoke to its founder and CEO Denise Kumor about the important work being done. 

What motivated you to start Tracey’s Hope?  My beloved dog “Tracey” was in kidney failure. I brought her home to die in the home she grew up in, the home where she felt comfortable. I did not want her to die in a cold veterinary office. I realized this option should be available to every pet owner.                            

Why is it important for pets to pass at home? We feel it’s less stressful for both the pet and the owner.

Who performs the euthanization? We work with a veterinarian. The pet owner is required to pay for veterinary service and the cost of cremation. Those in need should call a Hospice Care Coordinator at: 570-457-1625. 

How do you cope with the inherent loss that accompanies your work?  We believe that death is a part of life. It’s difficult but it is very rewarding knowing that we have helped to make things easier at a most difficult time.

Describe your pet loss support services and grief counseling. A grief counselor volunteers for the more complicated cases. Otherwise our volunteers work with the families. We are hoping to start a grief support group for grieving pet owners.

What is your organization’s greatest need right now? Money. Our veterinary bills are extremely high.

What services do volunteers provide?  Some do hospice care, others do rescue and adoptions. We also have an Animal Rights Team that works with police departments and district attorneys’ offices to help prosecute animal abusers. Some help remove abused animals and hold them as evidence until the abuser is prosecuted. Then we find them adoptive forever homes.             

What’s planned for the 9th Memorial Pet Walk? It begins at 10 a.m. with a Blessing of Pets. People come to walk with or in memory of their deceased pets. We release balloons in honor of all pets that have passed in the year. This helps people grieve. Our Celebration of Life Event follows. There is lots of hot food– A “Beau and Belle Pet Fashion Show,” music, a pet portrait booth, a demonstration by Alan Finn “the dog whisperer of Northeast PA,” a huge basket auction with great prizes including Coach Purses and a 50 inch flat screen color TV. The event continues until 5 p.m.