End of Life

We know that end of life hospice and palliative care, as well as euthanasia, can be a stressful time for you and your pet. We encourage you to think about quality of life and discuss these issues with your veterinarian ahead of time as you make decisions about euthanasia. Our staff can provide you with counseling and information to help you make an informed choice.

You may find Lap of Love’s Quality of Life Scale and Quality of Life Assessment tools helpful.

When is it Time?

You know your pet better than anyone else. Some signs that it may be time to think about euthanasia can include:

  • Severe pain, difficulty breathing, or other limiting symptoms that cannot be managed with medication or complementary medicine
  • Refusing to eat or drink, or persistent vomiting
  • Severe incontinence
  • Significant sudden weight loss
  • Slowing down and not showing interest in activities, not being excited about treats, being unable to stand and walk, or having difficulty with grooming and personal care
  • Increasing anxiety, aggression, or other signs of emotional distress

Most regrets involve feeling like you have waited to long, rather than performing euthanasia too soon.

Things to Think About Before You Call

You can reach us during telephone hours from 10am-5pm Tuesday through Sunday (707-964-7729). We are unable to respond to emergency/after hours calls and recommend you contact VCA Pet Care in Santa Rosa for emergencies (707-579-3900).

  • Do you want to speak with a member of our vet staff before you arrive to ask questions or go over what to expect?
  • Do you want to remain present with your pet?
  • Do you want hair clippings, pawprints, or other mementos?
  • Do you know what you want to do with your pet’s remains?

What to Expect

Our goal with all euthanasias is a peaceful, loving process and we treat your pets with the same respect and care that we would our own. We can perform euthanasia services in-car (dogs only) or in our family room at off hours while the shelter is quiet. We recommend discussing your comfort level with remaining present for euthanasia with our staff when you call to make your appointment. You may remain present for any or all stages of the process.

Our vet staff start by providing a sedative injection that will allow your pet to relax and fall asleep. After your animal is fully sedated, we will administer euthanasia and confirm that your animal has passed. You may take all the time you need with your pet before leaving them in our care or taking them with you.

If you would like mementos such as paw prints or hair clippings, please let our staff know at the time of your appointment.

Please discuss arrangements for disposition ahead of time. We may be able to accept remains for communal cremation (you will not receive ashes).

If you are interested in private cremation or burial, you may make arrangements with:

Pet Loss Resources

The bond between people and their pets is intense and personal. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Here are some resources including literature, hotlines, and support groups that you may find helpful:

Fee Schedule

All euthanasias: $50

Group cremation under 50 pounds: $50

Group cremation 50 pounds – 100 pounds: $75

Group cremation over 100 pounds: $100