At Mayfair Animal Hospital we understand the heartbreak of saying goodbye to a family pet and it is very important to us to provide you and your family with privacy, respect, and compassion at this difficult time. If you are faced with this sad decision please know that your pet will receive careful, gentle care at all times, and that we will be sensitive to the wide range of emotions you are experiencing when you enter our hospital.
When you are ready to call us there will be a few decisions you will be asked to make. You may wish to discuss these choices with other family members before you arrive.
The first decision is whether you wish to be with your pet during the euthanasia procedure. Some pet owners are very sure that they want to be close at this time, while others are just not able to watch this final step.
The next decision is whether you prefer communal cremation, private cremation with the ashes returned to you, communal burial, or preparation for burial on your private property. If you prefer to bury your pet on private property it is important to check local ordinances first.
The third choice concerns special requests. Some pet owners wish their pet to have a favorite toy or blanket cremated with them. We will do our best to accommodate these wishes; however, there are some limitations regarding materials and size. You may also wish to purchase a personalized urn or paw print. Examples and more information regarding these choices can be found below.
When you enter our hospital a receptionist will escort you to a quiet room and speak with you about whether you would like to be present during the euthanasia procedure and your choice of your pet’s final arrangements. You will be asked to sign a form that gives the doctor permission to perform euthanasia and states that your pet has not bitten anyone in the last 10 days. The receptionist will then leave the room, invoice the services you have requested, process your payment, and provide you with a receipt before you see the doctor.
The doctor or technician will then enter the room. They will discuss with you the procedures and expectations involved, and answer any questions that you may have. For many patients we feel it is beneficial to place an IV catheter before the procedure. Your doctor will discuss this with you.
If you choose to stay with your pet during its euthanasia, you will be able to pet and comfort them during the procedure. A special anesthetic solution is painlessly administered directly into the bloodstream, and it causes your pet to gradually fall asleep and peacefully pass away, in usually less than a minute. In a few cases pets may vocalize, urinate, or defecate – this is normal and they are not in any pain or distress. The doctor will listen for a heartbeat and administer more euthanasia solution in the rare case that it is needed. Also be aware that some pets may also appear to "gasp" about once a minute for a few minutes after they are euthanized. This is the diaphragm muscle spasming, a normal occurrence, and is not a gasp for air as it sometimes appears to be. After the procedure, you may spend some time alone to say goodbye if you wish. We will take care of the final arrangements that you have chosen.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens to my pet when I leave?
Your pet will be taken to the treatment area of our hospital and gently prepared for transportation to Faithful Friends, the facility Mayfair trusts for cremation and communal burial. Preparation is simply removing any collars or bandages, wrapping the pet in a moisture-proof material, and clearly identifying him or her. Under no circumstances are any procedures performed on deceased pets unless the pet owner has requested an investigation of the cause of death.
What is Faithful Friends?
Faithful Friends is the highly reputable crematory facility that Mayfair Animal Hospital completely trusts for pet cremation and communal burial. The operators of this facility can be reached at 919-874-0014 and will openly answer any questions you may have.
Personalized items available from Faithful Friends include:
Many more products are available. See the website for Faithful Friends or ask to see their catalog in our lobby.
How do I know the ashes are really my pet?
We have an excellent relationship with the crematory facility, Faithful Friends, and we have been given full disclosure on the procedures involved with cremation. When a private cremation is requested, it is carefully performed so there is no mistake concerning the pet’s identity.
What can I do if my pet passes away at home?
You may then bring your pet to Mayfair Animal Hospital. If you would prefer, we can meet you at our side entrance if you would rather not enter the lobby with your pet. As per your request, we will make arrangements for communal cremation, communal burial, or private cremation with your pet’s ashes returned to you in a few days.
I cannot seem to cope since my pet passed away. Where can I get help with my grief?
It can be very difficult to cope with the loss of your companion animal. This type of loss may be similar to losing a family member and can cause a wide range of emotions. The included on this page are some various online resources and pet support hotlines that may help pet owners find different ways to cope with their loss.
The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to help people during their grief and loss of their pet. The APLB has created a unique service as a worldwide clearinghouse for all information on pet bereavement and its website contains information regarding books, tapes, hotlines, advice, and support groups as well as a growing national registry of professionals who offer counseling for grief and loss of pets. The APLB also offers a chat room for those wanting grief support.
Grief Healing is a website created by Marty Tousley, a hospice bereavement counselor who shares her insights about grief and loss of both people and companion animals. Tousley’s website also offers courses on healing, book recommendations, a discussion group, and links to other online resources for those experiencing pet loss.
Pet Loss Support Hotlines: The primary purpose of pet loss support hotlines is to provide emotional support, via telephone, for grieving pet owners. Hotlines are usually staffed by volunteers who have been trained by licensed mental health professionals on issues related to grief and loss. Most pet loss support hotlines have limited hours and do not return calls immediately.
(530) 752-3602 or (800) 565-1526: Staffed by University of California-Davis veterinary students; weekdays, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, Pacific Time.
(517) 432-2696: Staffed by Michigan State University veterinary students, Tuesday to Thursday, 6:30pm to 9:30pm, Eastern Standard Time.
(630) 325-1600: Staffed by Chicago VMA veterinarians and staff. Leave voice mail message; calls will be returned 7 pm to 9 pm, Central Standard Time. (Long distance calls will be returned collect).
(540) 231-8038: Staffed by Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Tuesday and Thursday from 6 pm to 9 pm, Eastern Standard Time.
(614) 292-1823: Staffed by the Ohio State University veterinary students Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, Eastern Standard Time. Voice mail messages will be returned, collect, during operating hours.
If you have any further questions that are not addressed on this page, please do not hesitate to contact one of our staff members and we will assist you in any way that we can. Call us at 467-6146 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.