Peaceful Endings provides euthanasia services to pets in their own home. The most gentle techniques are used and one of the main goals is to provide comfort and peace to the pet in a pain-free manner. Almost any scenario that helps you find peace in your decision can be accommodated. This may mean providing the service at a forest preserve where your pet loved to run or even as simple as holding your pet on your lap during the process.
WHAT TO EXPECT
When Dr. Trotsky arrives at the house, she lets your pet get to know her and discusses the pet’s condition. Next, she administers a gentle sedative that allows your pet to slowly drift off to sleep in about 10-15 minutes. At that time, the pet cannot feel anything nor is aware of the surroundings. Then, she gives an injection in one of the leg veins to cause the passing. With this technique, the pet never feels pain. The whole process typically lasts 20-30 minutes from start to finish.
AFTER CARE OPTIONS
There are several different options regarding the after care of the pet. The first option is to take care of the pet’s body yourself. This would include burying the pet, taking the pet to a crematory, taking the pet to a veterinary hospital to have cremation performed, or scheduling to have the crematory pick up the pet at your home. Most people find caring for their pet after euthanasia to be very difficult and painful.
The second option is to have Peaceful Endings take the pet for cremation. This would include a communal (or group) cremation or a private cremation. With a communal cremation, your pet is cremated with other pets and their collective ashes are scattered in the cemetery, so you do not get the remains returned to you. With a private cremation, your pet is cremated completely alone and the ashes are delivered to you within a couple weeks. Peaceful Endings uses Hinsdale Animal Cemetery and Crematory in Willowbrook. They have one of the best reputations in Illinois, so if you have a private cremation performed, you can be 100% assured that the remains are those of your pet. They welcome the public to show up unannounced at their facility for a tour. If desired, you can also arrange to have a private viewing of your pet’s cremation if that is comforting to you.
The last option would be to make arrangements to have your pet buried at a cemetery (Hinsdale Animal Cemetery is one option). If you have never been to an animal cemetery, you are encouraged to walk the grounds there, as you may feel a peaceful solace.
Appointments can be made by phone or email. Even just a day or two advance notice is fine. Sometimes, pets take a turn for the worse overnight, so same day appointments are often able to be accommodated. If Dr. Trotsky is not available for the day and time needed, she will make every effort to refer you to a colleague she would trust with her own pets.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE VISIT
You will need an old blanket or towel to go under your pet during the process. Pick an area where the procedure will be performed and lay out the blankets/towels there. This not only helps to collect any leakage when the muscles relax, but it can also aid in transferring a pet to the stretcher and wrapping your pet in afterwards. If the pet is taken from the home, the blanket or towel will go with him or her. If performing the procedure on a couch or other area that may be difficult to clean if leakage occurs, it is recommended to place a plastic bag down first, and then the blankets/towels. You can also consider if you want candles lit, music playing, or anything else that you find comforting. If the pet will be taken from the home, the vehicle will be backed in onto your driveway (if present), so make sure there’s enough room to do so.
SHOULD CHILDREN BE PRESENT?
Although you may want to shield your children from the pain of grief, death is an inevitable part of life. Children will look to their parents for cues on how to deal with the loss. They will learn from you healthy ways to grieve now and in the future. Crying is natural and shouldn’t be discouraged.
Whenever possible, it is recommended that children be present for the euthanasia, but do not force them. Explain the procedure to them. After hearing about it, they may only want to stay for the part where the pet becomes sedated. Then, they can say their goodbyes and leave before the final injection is given.
Children 5 years old or younger may not fully understand the dying process but they will notice that the pet is absent. It is important to explain that the pet was sick and died, and that he or she is not coming back. Avoid phrases like “put to sleep” because children may take that meaning literally. Try to keep children on their normal daily routines and busy with activities.
Children 6 years and older understand that death is permanent. It might be their first experience with death. It may be helpful to hold a memorial service for the pet, have them make a scrapbook by drawing pictures of the pet or create a photo album. It can also help if the family talks about the pet, especially about the funny things he or she did or by relating favorite memories. Let them know it’s okay to smile or laugh during the grieving process.