Pet euthanasia service at home

AmericaClarence, the dog that came into Penny Wagner’s life nearly eight years ago, was at the most traumatic time for her family.

At the time, Penny had just lost her 21-year-old daughter to a car accident. The other child went to college and her husband went to work, leaving Penny alone with the pain. The appearance of the dog Clarence was a comfort to Penny.

Earlier this year, Clarence suffered from kidney disease. Due to safety regulations during Covid-19, the vet did not allow Penny to stay in the hospital with the dog. The couple decided to bring Clarence home to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in his favorite laundry room.

A veterinarian from a company called Pet Loss at Home came to see the Wagners. After Penny and Steve said their goodbyes, the doctor gave the dog two injections, one to relax and the other to let him go peacefully. Penny and Steve stroked Clarence while crying.

Penny Wagner poses with Clarence (left) and Cooper in their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico in April 2020. Photo: AP

Covid-19 has made home pet euthanasia services flourishing more than ever. However, this service is very expensive. According to some owners, this action negatively affects children and other pets in the house.

For Wagner, having a pet euthanized at home is a gift. So does 72-year-old Diane Brisson of Pinellas Park, Florida.

Last December, Diane asked Lap of Love to help her dog, named Champagne, pass away peacefully. 12-year-old Champagne suffered from pancreatitis and other internal organ failure.

Lap of Love staff agreed to let Diane call in a neighbor to help. This neighbor took a photo of Champagne lying in Diane’s lap on an old chair. When the 72-year-old was ready to let her pet go, the vet placed Champagne in a small basket with a white satin pillowcase and a lavender purple satin blanket. The dog was then cremated.

“I sat with Champagne for about 20-25 minutes and then said it was time for him to go back to his grandmother. He would watch over me from above and the two of them would take care of each other,” Diane shared.

Diane has now received Champagne’s ashes. She plans that when she dies, her ashes and Champagne will be scattered in the sea.

Veterinarian Dani McVety of Tampa, Florida founded Lap of Love in 2009. She said that in the past, veterinarians rarely noticed the pain of pet owners because “they weren’t trained to do the job. there”.

Currently, Lap of Love has branches in 35 states with more than 230 veterinarians. The company’s pet euthanasia price is about $300, more than three times the price at public hospitals. Each customer will receive a gift of the clay footprint of a recently deceased pet.

Most pet owners pay the vet extra to have their pet cremated. Others cremate themselves or bury their pets at home.

After Clarence’s death, the vet who assisted the Wagners sent the couple a condolence card with marigold seeds inside, suggesting they plant flowers as a tribute to the dog. Penny and Steve followed suit. When the plants bloomed, they took pictures and sent them back to the doctor.

Since 2003 until now, the company Pet Loss at Home that Penny and Steve came to has helped more than 35,000 families euthanize their pets. They have 75 doctors in 50 metropolitan areas, including Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Houston, and Minneapolis.

Rob Twyning, founder of Pet Loss at Home, says the pandemic has caused the business to grow dramatically.

“We have so many calls that we can’t answer them all,” Rob revealed. Pet Loss at Home pet euthanasia prices range from $300-600, sometimes more, depending on the city and travel time.

According to Rob, home euthanasia helps pets feel comfortable because they are in a familiar environment, instead of a place full of strange smells and noises like a veterinary hospital. Homeowners are not in a hurry to say goodbye.

Pet Loss at Home mainly euthanizes dogs and cats, but sometimes also serves other animals, from snakes to parrots.

In Marietta, Georgia, 73-year-old Linda Sheffield also decided to euthanize her pet when her dog, Timmy, contracted laryngitis.

Timmy was passed away in his owner's car.  Photo: AP

Timmy was passed away in his owner’s car. Photo: AP

Linda wanted to give Timmy one last ride, so she took the dog to the vet’s house. “That vet is someone who has taken care of Timmy for a long time. Timmy also loves to hang out in the car with me,” Linda explains about her actions.

Timmy, lying on his owner’s lap in the car, was given an injection. After that, Linda put the dog in its familiar bed and continued to drive, taking Timmy to the crematorium.

Thu Nguyet (Follow AP)


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