A Peaceful Ending For Cherished Pets
For many, pets are a beloved part of the ohana and, as with all living things, there comes a time when life must come full-circle. When dealing with an ailing or suffering pet, however, choosing euthanasia may be one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make.
Dr. Brenda Smith DVM does her best to make the euthanasia experience as comforting as possible for both the pet and its owner. Smith founded Cherished Pet Home Euthanasia Service earlier this year, and says she appreciates the need for families to be able to spend their last moments with their pet in the comfort, privacy and familiarity of their own home or their pet’s favorite place.
According to Smith, a quietly and gently assisted passing can make a difficult time one of peace and compassion.
“I specialize in the euthanasia of dogs and cats. I believe it’s good for the client and for the pet because, generally, by the time they go into the vet’s office and they’re that far along, they’re either hard to move because they’re not getting up very well anymore, or the animal gets really stressed because every time they’ve gone in they’ve had blood drawn, and there are other pets and noises around,” she says.
“With Cherished Pet, it’s a lot easier for people to be able to spend some quality time with their pet and then have them quietly go without a big fuss.”
Raised in Kentucky, Smith graduated in 1995 from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and since then enjoyed private practice in Oregon and Washington before moving to the Islands five years ago. She says she’s always had a passion for animals, and also has dedicated much of her time and volunteer work to feral cat organizations and international veterinary assistance programs.
“I have three cats of my own, and my mother says that I wanted to be a veterinarian since I was about 7,” Smith says.
Euthanasia services range from $200 to $250, and Smith organizes all the details.
“The client will generally call me and give me an overview of the situation, and we will work out a plan and arrange a specific time to meet. Then I’ll go to their house or the pet’s favorite spot, we’ll sign a euthanasia release and give the dog or cat a sedative,” Smith explains. “The sedative takes about five to 10 minutes, and then we go ahead and do the euthanasia.
“To make the experience as peaceful as possible, I try to be as quiet as I can and make sure the animal is comfortable,” she adds. “We can position them on the client’s lap or on the bed or couch. And, if they’re still eating, sometimes we’ll give them some snacks to distract them.”
In terms of after-care, some clients have a place to bury their pet, but Smith can provide transport services to a crematorium as well. Clients may choose a private cremation with ashes returned, or a group cremation with no return of ashes.
“When I bring back the ashes and the client has had a few days to deal with the initial trauma of their loss, they’re really appreciative of how smoothly the whole process has gone,” Smith states.
Cherished Pet also provides referrals for grief counseling and pet-loss resources.
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