Beating the Odds: Hospice Foster Eileen

When Eileen, a senior collie mix, came into the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area (HSHA) as a stray in December of 2018, she could barely stand.  She had a severe skin infection and difficulty using her hind legs. After a full medical workup it was found that Eileen was suffering from severe arthritis in her spine and hind legs.  In addition, her kidneys were failing.

“Though she had several health problems, she had such zest for life and I knew that she could still have a few happy months left with the right support,” said Dr. Lauren Ritchey, HSHA’s Lead Veterinarian. “She looked like she had spent the majority of her life outside and I wanted to give her a chance to enjoy her last few weeks/months in a loving home.”

Eileen entered HSHA’s Foster Program to find a foster family.  Foster families provide temporary homes for animals for a variety reasons such as an animal is too young to adopt out, an animal is undergoing medical treatment, an animal is scared/stressed in the shelter environment or, as was the case with Eileen, an animal in need of hospice care.  As a hospice foster, Eileen was looking for a foster family willing to take care of her for whatever time she had left.

A family willing to provide the love and care Eileen needed and deserved took her home in January 2019. 

Today, Eileen is loving life and beating the odds.

Says foster mom, Julia: “I’m thankful for many things this year but especially for Eileen.  We didn’t know how long she’d be with us when we first fostered her in January.  We thought she only had until the summer, but here we are and she’s doing so well.  Some days are very challenging but she’s reminded me of important qualities that I want to strengthen: patience and kindness.  Thanks to the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area for all of the support for Eileen’s retirement.  We couldn’t do it without you!”


Learn more about the Foster Program and Apply to Become a Foster: