LIFE

Woman Launches Animal Hospice For Dying Pets After Losing Her Own Dog Unexpectedly

by Giovanna Boldrini
Giovanna was born in Rome, Italy and currently resides in South Salem, New York. In her free time, she likes to cook with her children and grandchildren.

What a great way to turn a terrible moment into a positive thing!

Alexis Fleming, 37, from Scotland lost her beloved bullmastiff, Maggie, two years ago.

Because she was out of town when Maggie’s lung cancer became too much to bear, she was forced to tell vets to put her best friend out of pain over the phone. It was an experience she thinks no animal should have to go through.

“She was my best friend,” says Alexis, “and I knew I was never going to see her again. I was devastated.”

Six months later, with help from her partner and parents, Alexis started the Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice, a place for domesticated animals with terminal conditions to spend their final days.

Fittingly, her first “patient” was another bullmastiff named Osha who’d had been dumped by her owners after they discovered an inoperable tumor. She lived out her final nine months with Alexis.

“In a way, I think it was my way of coping,” explains Alexis. “It was easier for me to cope, doing something in [Maggie’s] memory, [since] there was nothing I could do to change what happened.”

Alexis has expanded her hospice to care for farm animals as well, including sheep, pigs, and chickens. Of their eventual passing, she says, “It’s a nice experience for them; they do whatever it pleases them, long walks, good food, cuddles.… On their last day I tell them goodbye and they get sedated. They have a very peaceful end.”

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