Meet the woman who runs a Saratoga County pet hospice

Nobody was going to adopt a meme.

Older people, those with joint disease, blindness, deafness, and those who have lost one eye,” said Alice Burke. “Almost brutal. She was almost undoubtedly touched gently.”

After Burke agreed to take care of the dog at her home, she called the agency again.

“I told her, there is no way to bring this dog to adoption clinics. Nobody will ever adopt her,” she said.

But Mimi has changed.

“She fell in love with us,” Burke said. “She was hugging us in our bed. This dog blew my mind. How can a being learn to trust after all she’s been through?”

Mimi lived in her home for two years before she died peacefully. Legacy of her paws in heaven.

Burke, a retired attorney, now runs a shelter in Halfmoon outside her dorm to house elderly and infirm animals. She currently has two dogs in the hospice and just bought a huge property so she can fit in some more. She said she’s creating a formal 501c3 nonprofit so she can accept donations, get insurance, and allow volunteers to help her.

The Capital District Humane Association, which sponsored Mimi to Berke, started for the same reasons: to care for pets that weren’t easy to adopt.

“In normal animal shelters, animals with special needs don’t stand a chance,” said association president Jennifer Politis. “This is why the Capital District Humane Society was founded many years ago – to provide an alternative for animals that were otherwise difficult to house.”

She said older people could be adopted but they weren’t sick.

“It takes longer, but we put them down. As long as the animal is well-behaved and does not have major health problems, we can find a home.” “We will have people come into our organization in their 80s. We try to match that person with an older animal.”

But sometimes patients are killed in the shelter. While some are electrolytes, Politis said, others have been abandoned by their owners.

“What happens is that a lot of people are not loyal to their animals. When the animals get older, there are people who are going to take them to animal shelters.”

Earlier this year, a woman brought her 14-year-old dog to the vet for euthanasia because she couldn’t afford to keep her.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with her, Politis said of the dog. “We took Lacey and found her a home.”

But for those with many health issues and no willing adoptive families, there is Paws in Paradise.

The new building, where Berke moved her home, is located on 11 acres — not because the dogs need it but so that the barking doesn’t disturb the neighbours. Dogs are very powerless to run away, so only a small area is fenced off.

“I wanted to save them all. I couldn’t believe they had this ability to be happy and no one was doing that.” “I just want to make them happy.”

It wasn’t easy to get started. The floors of the new house had to be covered with a protective layer because vulnerable animals tend to be smooth. They usually can’t climb stairs, so she installed stairs to help them get in and out of the house. Each animal follows its own medical diet, which means having marked food boxes and keeping the animals away from each other’s bowls at mealtimes.

Before she adopted Mimi, she thought it would be sad to receive animals near the end of her life.

“I thought I was going to get depressed all the time,” she said.

But it was a great experience.

“That’s a lot of fun,” she said. “I want them to die happy. It happens all the time (death) but I don’t want them to die without a day of happiness.”

So when it snowed recently, I went out with Ray and Joe.

Ray is blind and deaf. Joe has been in a shelter for so long that he is still reluctant to go out in the open and find corners to settle in.

Both were fascinated by the feeling of snow, although she had to guide Ray to make sure he wouldn’t fall off the slope.

Burke is much happier with her new job.

When you are a lawyer, you create problems. “Now I solve problems,” she said. “In the morning I have my coffee and then we play happy music and sometimes we dance. Tails are all wagging. We love it.”

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