Just considering putting a pet down can be agonizing, and the decision can be more difficult if the animal is stressed and in pain.
Veterinarians can counsel you about the when, but taking a sick pet to the vet late in its life can seem a cruelty on it’s own – for the pet and the owner.
A colum running in tomorrow’s News Tribune deals with a growing trend among pet owners facing this situation: in-home pet euthanasia. Two women vets in the area, Dr. Suzanne Thomas in Gig Harbor, Dr. Robin Gardner of Eatonville, make house calls for that purpose.
Why have your pet put down at home?
“The animal is at home, as comfortable as they can be with people they know and love,” Thomas said. “Some of them are in pain, so carrying them to a car, taking them to the vets office, that’s just added stress. The idea is to take the stress out of this as much as possible, for the pet and the owner.”
Tyra Blaisdell was facing the end of her dog Molly’s life, and was given Thomas’ number by a friend. What was the experience like
“She came within half an hour, and was an angel,” Blaisdell said. “I was panicking, but she put Molly into a relaxed sleep first with a tranquilizer. We were all on the floor with her. The final shot came when we were all ready.
“Molly had to be carried at the end, and she’d always been afraid of doctors office. She loved the kitchen, lived there, and that’s where we did it. ”
Gardner said every home visit is unique, but each has one thing in common.
“It’s emotional, every time,” she said. “I get a lot of hugs afterward, and if someone doesn’t hug me, I might hug them. We’re all there for the same reason – we love animals.”
Gardener has dogs, cats, fish and a rat. Thomas has two rescue dogs and a number of cats. Both have lost pets, and know how hard it can be. Thomas suggests visiting a website if you’re grieving a pet.
Would you consider using home euthanasia with a pet? Have strong thoughts about it, a story to share? It’s a conversation worth having. Let’s start one.