pReparing for the at-home ViSit (before and after the procedUre)
How to Prepare for the Euthanasia process:
- We usually need about a 24-48 hour notice for appointments although sometimes we may accommodate same day appointments. This is not an emergency service so if you are in immediate need of veterinary help please contact your local emergency veterinary hospital
- Please make sure that you leave the closest parking space to your home available for Dr. Holt's vehicle. We will be carrying in our belongings and may need to carry out the remains of your pet. If you live in an apartment complex or do not have a designated parking space we will need for you to provide us with directions to the nearest parking spot where we can park legally.
- If there is snow or ice on the ground, please make sure that there is a clear, dry path (salted if there is ice) for us to walk on.
- Please allow Dr. Holt time to gather her instruments and tools from her vehicle. Paperwork and payment need to be performed inside your home. Dr. Holt does not need assistance bringing anything into your home.
- The process itself, from when Dr. Holt comes into your home to when she leaves, is usually about 30 minutes. During that time period we will go over paperwork (see “Forms” to be printed before the appointment), take payment, give sedation, wait about 5-10 minutes for the sedation to take effect, place an intravenous catheter and give the final injection. We try to mimic your pet just “going to sleep” as much as possible. It is very peaceful and your pet will feel no pain at any point during the procedure.
- The owner of the pet must be present for consent. There must be someone over the age of 18 in the home. If you are the owner and you are under the age of 18, you must have a parent/legal guardian present.
- Due to liability we are no longer euthanizing pets due to behavior problems including aggression without an up-to-date rabies vaccination, a full blood panel and a letter from a board certified veterinary behaviorist indicating that Euthanasia is the best option for the pet.
- If your pet has recently been bitten by another animal including a raccoon, skunk, bat, fox, coyote or another animal, or if a human or another animal has been bitten BY your pet, please inform us prior to our visit. In the event that your pet has been bitten by another animal or your pet has bitten another animal/human, we will require documentation of a current Rabies vaccine (Rabies Certificate or medical records/invoices from your veterinarian) prior to our arrival. We are in strict compliance with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources in regards to Rabies Laws and Regulation. If you have any questions into the protocols that are required by the state, please visit mass.gov Health and Human Services subcategory Rabies Control Plan.
- Make sure all pets in the household are contained or put in a separate room/outside prior to our arrival. This of course does not apply to the pet that is being put to sleep.
- Please choose a room that is well lit and can comfortably accommodate the number of people you anticipate being present. This will include Dr. Holt, a technician and your pet plus any family members you would like in the room.
- Please have your method of payment ready. We take credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) or we take cash with a 5% discount. We do not accept checks unless discussed prior to the appointment.
- If your pet needs to be muzzled or sedated prior to our entry, please inform us so that we may provide you with the appropriate forms of restraint. You do not need to provide a muzzle unless you have one that you prefer. (Euthanasia is a very humane and painless process but we do need access to one of the veins for effective administration of any drugs to be administered. We will be in very close proximity to your pet so if they are territorial or protective, ensuring that they are appropriately restrained will ensure the safety of both the doctor and technician as well as your pet. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. We want to make this process as smooth as possible so we encourage questions. You are the advocate for your pet since he/she cannot speak for himself/herself. The more information we have, the smoother this process will be for both your pet and your family).
- We will coordinate and arrange the care of remains if you wish to have your pet cremated. If you decide you would like to arrange for a different method for care of remains, you will be responsible for making arrangements yourself. Please refer to your city’s ordinance on at-home burial of pets. We are not responsible for your pet’s remains if you decide to personally dispose of the remains.
- We appreciate your cooperation during this difficult time. We deeply care for the well-being of your pet as well as your satisfaction with our services. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Home Burial Instructions:
- Please go to Mass.gov to double check any rules and regulations in regards to any town ordnances on at-home burial of pets. You may be permitted to bury your pet in your yard, even within city limits, provided you own the property, or have permission from the owner of the private property.
- If you are unable to bury your pet within a few hours of their passing, it is advisable to keep the body in a cold storage area like a refrigerator or freezer.
- It is recommended to dig the hole at least 4 feet deep, but also 4 feet above the ground water table, and cover with at least 4 feet of earth.
- Avoid rocky areas and tree roots
- Maintain a 100-foot separation from wells or waterways
- Also be aware of any buried water, gas or power lines.
- Do not bury in a low-lying area, gully, or ditch that is prone to flooding
- You can bury your pet wrapped in a natural fiber blanket, cardboard or wooden box. Avoid synthetic fibers and plastic bags.
- For added protection from wild animals, you may choose to cover the burial spot with rocks.
- We are not responsible for the remains of your pet if you decide to bury him/her at home.
- if you have any questions about the home burial process please call (508) 375-1234 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org