Hospice and End Of Life Care

Saying goodbye to your beloved friend will be one of the hardest things you have to do – you do not have to do it alone.

Saying goodbye to your beloved friend will be one of the hardest things you have to do – you do not have to do it alone. We are here for you. The team at Healing Paws is honored to be a part of the bond you share with your friend and we will share your burden and celebrate your memories. We are here to provide your family and beloved pet with love and support during their palliative/hospice care days and then to offer a peaceful transition from this life when the time comes.

Our doctors offer multiple modes of easing pain and adapting environments and care to keep your friend comfortable and by your side in their last months and then we will be by your side as together we decide if kind, painless euthanasia is the gift that your pet needs. Euthanasia is a selfless act of love that you give your pet – the peace of seeing them quietly slip away in your arms is a final gesture of compassion. Your pain will deepen as you say goodbye to your friend, but their pain will be no more. Comfort, peace, and dignity is a gift we can give our pets after the lifetime of unconditional love they have given us.

At Healing Paws, nothing is more important than providing dignity and peace in the final moments and you can count on us to take care of you and your friend so that all you need to focus on is loving them as you say goodbye. Rest assured your friend will not be taken from you – you will be by their side the whole time unless you have requested one of our team members to hold their paw instead in their final moments. Our team takes every precaution to be sure your friend is not frightened or in pain for their last visit with us. Your doctor will walk you through the process of giving your friend pain and anxiety medications to relax them first before receiving the medication that allows them to slip away. You will be able to have time holding your friend on our couch in the living room or in the sweet grass of our garden as you tell them how much you love them and hold them close in their final moments. When your friend has crossed the rainbow bridge they will not be taken from you until you are ready – this is your time to share with them and grief should not be rushed. Afterwards, for those not choosing home burial, we offer cremation services that are performed with the utmost respect. Often, the pain of losing your friend lingers longer than you thought it might or creeps up on you unexpectedly. This is normal, you have lost a constant friend and companion and it is okay to feel overwhelmed with their loss. We still are here to provide you with support after your pet’s final visit – please reach out to us or use the resources below to help you, your family, and your other pets deal with the grief and change that follows such a loss.

“The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief. But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.”

– Hilary Stanton Zunin

Books

  • Saying Goodbye To The Pet You Love: Lorri Greene, PhD and Jacquelyn Landis, New Harbinger Publications, 2002
  • Coping with the Loss of a Pet: Christina M. Lemieux, Wallace R. Clark, 1992

For children:

  • Dog Heaven: Cynthia Rylant (they also have Cat Heaven)
  • I’ll Always Love You: Hans Wilheim
  • Paw Prints in the Stars: A Farewell and Journal for a Beloved Pet: Warren Hanson

Pet Loss Hotlines and Helplines

  • ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Grief Counseling Line); 877-GRIEF-10 (877-474-3310); Also, you can e-mail questions to Dr. Stephanie LaFarge (psychologist)
  • Iams (P&G) Pet Loss Support Line, 888-332-7738 (Open 9 – 6, Eastern Time, Mondays through Fridays)

Have a question about our end of life care or hospice options for your pet? Please complete the form below and a member of our staff will get back to you as quickly as possible. If this is an emergency situation during business hours, please call us at 717-462-9480. You can request an appointment online by clicking here.