MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) – Hospice is an essential health care service that tends to terminally ill patients and their families. But, did you know hospice care can be provided to animals as well?

Compassionate Pet Care of the Upper Peninsula is an in-home veterinary nursing service located in Marquette County. Owner and licensed veterinary technician Jessi Hurd assists animals in all stages of life while specializing in senior pet care, hospice and palliative care. Hurd is the first veterinary professional to be certified in animal hospice and palliative care in the entire U.P. She is also one of less than 100 veterinary technicians in the world to be certified in animal hospice and palliative care.

“I found that with so many people needing care at home that I was just like, this is kind of what I really want to do,” said Hurd. “I want to be able to help people in their homes because that’s where they’re the most comfortable, so the pets are the most comfortable. And I just feel like we get a lot better results with being able to help pets at home. So even with basic medications, sometimes owners don’t really, you know, families don’t know how to give them medications, especially cats. Cats are really challenging for medications. Even if I’m just there to assist, you know, to give them a little bit more confidence and helping their own pet and it helps their human animal bond become stronger. That’s really kind of the inspiration.”

Hurd has started a new program called Paws 4 Care. The program focuses on pets of senior living communities and individuals who are in hospice care. On Wednesday, January 4 at 2 p.m., Hurd will be holding an informational talk at Lost Creek in Marquette to discuss the discounted service bundles available for this community. Another informational talk will be held on Tuesday, January 17 at 10 a.m. at Snowberry Heights in Marquette.

“Paws 4 Care came about because my longest standing client or client patient moved into Snowberry Heights,” said Hurd. “I’ve been working with her for three and a half years and I saw there were a lot of people there, senior citizens there with pets, and I thought about the fact that a lot of them have, you know, whether they can’t drive or they had to take public transport. And I was like, I wonder if they could really use help in their homes, you know, in the building there.”

Compassion Pet Care of the Upper Peninsula travels up to 100 miles from the city of Negaunee within the state of Michigan. For more information, you can visit www.compassionatepetcareup.com.