A former nurse has set up one of the world’s first dog hospices – where pooches are allowed steak dinners and drive-thrus at McDonald’s in their final days.
Nicola Coyle runs the Grey Muzzle Canine Hospice Project – for dogs which are expected to have around six months to live – from her home in Mansfield.
Nicola, 46, who aims to ensure the animals get a ‘nice ending’, told the Nottingham Post : “It can be an utterly heartbreaking job.
“But I just can’t bear the thought of them spending their final moments without the love they deserve.
“If they’re well enough, we take them for a day at the seaside, they get fish and chips on the beach and ice cream.
“We’ll also take them down to the local pub – it’s really dog friendly, and they’ll get a steak dinner too.”
The dogs Nicola takes in come from kennels, vet surgeries or charities, where they might otherwise expect to be put down within seven days if not rehomed.
The mum-of-two helps them complete a bucket list, taking them for ice creams on the beach and throwing birthday parties.
Nicola spends up to £500 per dog from her own pocket or through fundraising.
She has rescued so many pooches there is no space left in her garden for their remains. Instead, she keeps them in urns in a room she has turned into a memorial.
With the help of her children, Harvey, 14, and Olivia, 15, she has cared for more than 30 from her home – and hopes to one day open a purpose-built hospice.
She set up the project after witnessing the heartbreak of dogs dumped after owners could no longer afford vet bills.
Nicola said: “Many have not led a very nice life too, used for breeding or guard dogs, so when they’ve become unwell, they’re not useful any more and left.
“The longest I had one is one year, the shortest was two weeks. It’s so rewarding when you can make those times special.
“I don’t know when their birthdays are so we throw all of them a birthday party.
“They just want to feel loved and safe. I really believe they should get a nice ending.”
SOURCE: Mirror UK