This is one of my articles posted through Examiner.com, where I am notably the Minnesota Pet Loss Examiner.—Sid

Animal lovers universally know how difficult it is to come to the decision to end a pet’s life in the first place, but to decide this and then have to bundle up an aged, ailing, or injured pet to transport him or her to the vet’s office can make things even tougher.
The longest miles you’ll ever travel are those between your house and your vet’s office when bringing your most beloved animal friend to be put to sleep. They may also be the most dangerous if you are alone and attempting to drive through torrents of tears. For many, in-home euthanasia provides a peaceful, undisruptive option to the often sterile surroundings of a veterinary clinic.
Though not universally available, such services are becoming more and more common as veterinarians respond to pet owners’ needs to provide the gentlest manner of euthanasia, allowing the animal to rest comfortably amid familiar surroundings with their loving humans and even fellow pets around them to say goodbye.

I wanted to use in-home euthanasia when Mortimer passed away June 2009, but no one was available that particular day.

In the Twin Cities area, this service is often available seven days a week, including evenings, and same-day appointments can often be accommodated. You may first check with your regular vet as to whether he or she offers such services. For additional support at this difficult time, some people opt to call in an animal chaplain to be present at the euthanasia as well.
What can you expect from in-home euthanasia? Commonly, a vet will first give the animal a sedative to both calm him or her and ensure he or she will experience no pain. A razor may be used to remove fur from the leg where the drugs may be administered.
Then an injection of medication to stop the heart and breathing will be given, wherein the animal will simply appear to fall asleep within moments or, at most, just a few minutes. (It is advisable to have a sheet of plastic covered with old towels placed beneath the pet for when the bladder/bowels empty once he or she passes.)
Afterward, the vet may take an impression of your pet’s paw print in clay and/or shave some bits of his or her fur for you to keep as commemorative items. You will be allowed to spend as much time as you need to with your pet’s body.
Fees are often in the vicinity of $200–$400 for these house calls and may include the vet’s removal of the body followed by either group or individual cremation. In the latter instance, the ashes will be returned to the pet owner. Urns may also be available for purchase.
You may choose to have your pet buried in a pet cemetery in your area. Or, you may also opt to bury your pet yourself, provided it is legal for you to do so where you live.

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