What to Expect With an At-Home Euthanasia

The difficulty of saying good-bye to our trusted animal friends is one of the most emotional and devastating experiences any pet owner can endure. For many owners the sadness is magnified by the thought of the car ride to and from the animal hospital and waiting for the veterinary staff to attend to their pet on a stainless steel table in unfamiliar surroundings.

Peaceful Goodbyes provides a way for you to say your final farewell to your cherished pet at your home in a relaxed and stress-free manner for your beloved companion. When you and your veterinarian have determined that your pet no longer has an acceptable quality of life, Dr. Mark Ferris can help to make this final decision a peaceful and private moment for you, your family, and your revered pet.

Dr. Ferris has practiced veterinary medicine for 30 years and has experienced the profound grief of saying good-bye to his patients, and at the same time trying to comfort and console the pet’s owner. On many occasions in his career, he has been asked and often agreed to performing euthanasia in the comfort and privacy of the pet’s own surroundings.

There are many reasons that people ask and choose home euthanasia as an option.
• Weight and size of pet
• Decision to bury at home
• Loss of mobility of pet
• Accommodating family members' schedules
• A desire for privacy
• Aid to senior pet owners
• Flexibility of euthanasia outside veterinarian’s business hours
• Stress factor for pet or pet owner

For those pet owners who are not yet ready to schedule an appointment, or who are uncertain as to whether it is even time to decide, Dr. Ferris now offers a free consultation. This allows the family to personally meet Dr. Ferris in advance, ask questions face to face, and most importantly give the failing pet a time to make their own introductions. When a family needs an additional professional opinion, Dr. Ferris can offer his advice after visiting and examining the pet in its own environment. There is no charge or obligation for future service if this house call is desired by the family. All they need to do is ask.

A typical euthanasia visit lasts about an hour. Dr. Ferris and a technician would come to your home at a pre-arranged time and explain the procedure to you. You and other family members may want to be present. You may want to recall happy memories of when your pet was growing up, playing, at family gatherings, on vacation, etc. You may want to have a favorite blanket or toy nearby. Take the time that you need. Dr. Ferris will administer a sedative under the skin or intravenously that is painless and allows your pet to relax. You may touch, stroke, or talk to your pet. At this time you may want to leave the room or gather near your pet, while Dr. Ferris inserts a butterfly catheter for the second injection. When you give permission, the second injection will be given, and your pet will painlessly fall asleep. Dr. Ferris will listen to the heart and will tell you when your pet has passed.

Dr. Ferris works closely with a number of very skilled, empathetic veterinary technicians and assistants to assure that every aspect of the house call is as comforting to the owner and pet as possible. He has worked with these technicians for many years and has chosen each of them to join Peaceful Goodbyes not only because of their exceptional talents but equally important is their compassion that comes naturally to each of them. Dr. Ferris is extremely privileged and proud of the team he has assembled. All of his assistants work other full time jobs and selflessly devote some of their free time to help him when possible.

In part due to the numerous referrals from families that Peaceful Goodbyes has helped in the past, Dr. Ferris has found an increased interest and use of his services. The territory that he covers has expanded greatly in the past year, and it is not uncommon for him to get requests from the Wheeling and eastern Ohio areas, as well as Butler, Beaver, Allegheny, and Washington counties in Pennsylvania. Due to this increased demand, Dr. Ferris proudly announced the addition of Dr. Bryn Kreider to his dedicated veterinary team is January 2020. Dr. Kreider is an associate veterinarian at The Gardens Veterinary Hospital in Cranberry Township. She will be doing house calls on a limited basis when Dr. Ferris is unavailable. Her passion, kindness, and empathy for families struggling with end of life issues for their pets make her a perfect addition to the Peaceful Goodbyes team.