When you call, I will listen to your concerns and discuss options relating to your pet’s failing health. If euthanasia seems like the most humane decision, I will go over what you can expect during a visit from me. We will discuss the costs and options for your pet’s remains.
Before I arrive, please feel free to make a comfortable place for your pet’s final resting place, whether it is on the floor, outside on the grass, on the couch, or on your lap. Perhaps play some music, burn a candle, feed them their favorite snacks, make a nest – prepare for a sad but special time to share with your companion.
When I arrive, we should deal with the paperwork and payment before the sedation and euthanasia which allows for a quiet and peaceful time dedicated to your pet. A form must be signed that states that your pet has not bitten anyone within ten (10) days, and that you are the person responsible for making decisions for the pet. You will also need to decide on the method of handling your pet’s remains. These options are burial at home or at a pet cemetery and cremation – either communal or private cremation.
When everyone is ready to proceed, I will give an injection under the skin that acts as both a pain medicine and sedative. This injection is given with a tiny needle and only infrequently causes minor discomfort – offering some special “people” food during the injection is a great distraction. The sedative will cause the pet to become unresponsive and unaware, usually within five minutes or so, allowing me to inject a potent barbiturate (euthanasia solution) directly into a vein that I have shaved over. The euthanasia solution is painless, fast acting and very humane. Occasionally a pet may stretch or increase its breathing rate or take a deep breath immediately during or after the intravenous injection, but this is a response of the brainstem to the drug, not a sign of awareness or pain. I will check for heart activity and brain response before I pronounce death. After death, pets may release their bowels or bladder and, surprisingly for most people, their eyes will not stay closed.
You may have as much time to spend with your beloved pet as you like. Afterwards, I will clip some fur for you to keep and take a paw print. Unless home burial is desired, when everyone is ready, I will remove the body to my vehicle, wrapped in a towel or blanket in a basket or on a stretcher. In the case of a larger pet, my husband often travels with me to assist in transportation. Occasionally, if he is unavailable, I may need some assistance from an owner or perhaps a friend or neighbor. I then will transport your pet to a crematorium or pet cemetery. Your pet will be taken for cremation (or burial if you chose) to Keystone Pet Cemetery (www.keystonepetcemeteryllc.net) in Mertztown, PA. In the case of a private cremation, the ashes and paw print will be returned to your home, usually within 14-25 days, either by me or, if you live outside my normal travel range, by the USPS (tracked and insured).
Before we make the appointment for a visit, I will need your pet’s name, spelled as you would like it to appear on the nameplate, approximate weight, breed, age and sex of pet, description of color/coat, complete address, phone number and email address of the responsible owner, and information about your regular veterinarian so that I can inform them of the death of your pet. If at all possible, it would be best if you could email me the above information under CONTACT.