Saying goodbye to a family pet is never easy. We at Sunnymead Animal Hospital understand the pain involved in making such a difficult decision. We strive to provide you and your family with professional, non-judgmental, compassionate care. If you are faced with this situation please be assured that your pet will receive gentle, humane care at all times. The following information will help you make necessary decisions and help prepare you for the euthanasia process.
Things To Consider
When you are ready to schedule your appointment, you will be asked you to make a few decisions. We will ask if you wish to be with your pet during the euthanasia procedure. Be assured that we will not judge your choice; some people are comfortable being with their pets during this time, while others are not able to watch the process. We will then ask how you would like us to care for your pet's remains. You have several options to choose from; the first is a private cremation in which we will return the remains to you. The second option is a communal cremation; your pet's remains will not be returned to you, but respectfully scattered at sea. Lastly, you can immediately take the remains home for burial on your private property. Please check local ordinances to be sure this is allowed in your city.
What To Expect
When you arrive for your appointment you will be placed in a room as soon as one is available. A receptionist will ask if you would like to be present during the euthanasia procedure and about your choice for your pet's final arrangements. You will sign a consent form giving the doctor /staff permission to perform the euthanasia. This form also verifies that your pet has not bitten anyone in the last 10 days.
The receptionist will then invoice the services you requested, process your payment, and provide you with a receipt before the procedure is done; we feel it is best to handle the paperwork before the procedure so you will not have to deal with it while emotionally upset. If you choose to be with your pet during the procedure, a technician will come into the room and in most cases take your pet into the treatment area of the hospital in order to place a catheter to prepare your pet for the procedure. The doctor or technician will bring your pet back to you. At this time they will answer any questions that you may have and let you know what you can expect.
If you choose not to be with your pet, he/she will be taken to the treatment area of the hospital where the staff will perform the procedure immediately.
We will place a catheter in your pet's leg, and then inject an anesthetic solution into your pet's bloodstream. This will cause your pet to painlessly fall asleep and peacefully pass away, generally in less then a minute. Please be aware that pets commonly urinate, defecate and vocalize. These responses are normal and do not indicate pain or distress. Also be aware that some pets may appear to .gasp. after they have been euthanasized; normal muscle spasming causes this response, not a gasp for air.
After The Procedure
Staff will take your pet to the treatment area of the hospital and respectfully prepare him/her according to your wishes. If you have elected to have a private cremation and the remains returned to you, you will receive a call in about two weeks when we receive the remains of your pet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Handles the Cremation?
We work with Veterinary Aftercare Services.
How Can I Be Sure the Ashes are Really My Pet?
We have complete trust in the integrity of the operators of Veterinary Aftercare. We have received full disclosure regarding the cremation procedure and steps the facility takes to eliminate mistakes concerning your pet's identity. We are confident that the utmost care is taken with each private cremation.
What should I do if my pet passes at home?
You may bring your pet to Sunnymead Animal Hospital for care of remains. You may choose between a private cremation (remains returned) or a communal cremation (remains not returned). We recommend that you call before you come in, so we may make the arrangements in advance of your arrival.
Support ResourcesThe primary purpose of pet loss support hot-lines is to provide emotional support via telephone for grieving pet owners. Hotlines are usually staffed by volunteers who have been trained on issues related to grief and loss.
University Of California . Davis Veterinary (530) 752-3602 or (800) 565-1526
Loma Linda University Medical Center- (909) 558-7355
ASPCA -Pet loss Hotline . (212) 876-7700 ext 4355
Iams Pet Loss Support . (888) 332-7738
Pet Love & Loss Network