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What is euthanasia?

The term 'euthanasia' comes from Greek meaning 'good death'.

The American Veterinary Medical Association defines 'Euthanasia' as 'the act of inducing humane death in an animal.

It is our responsibility as veterinarians and human beings to ensure that if an animal's life is to be taken, it is done with the highest degree of respect, and with an emphasis on making the death as painless and distress free as possible.'

Learn more about our Home Euthanasia Service  

How will I know its the right time?

Unfortunately, there is no 'perfect' time.  The answer is different for every pet and family.  You know your pet best and can assess conditions that may indicate that it is time to consider euthanasia.  Asking these questions and consulting with your primary care veterinarian can help guide your decision:

-Is my pet eating?

-Is my pet vomiting?

-Does my pet still love and hate all the things they normally love and hate?

-Is my pet in pain?

Learn more about the decision making process

Why is 'at home' euthanasia recommended?

Both pets and families benefit from choosing to say goodbye at home.  Your pet and family will be more comfortable at home than any where else.  Your family, including other pets, can say goodbye to your beloved pet in privacy at your own pace, by your pet's side the entire time. 


Why should I choose euthanasia vs 'dying naturally'?

We all wish that our pets will peacefully close their eyes at the end of their life and simply not wake up.  Unfortunately,  this is rarely the case with a natural death in pets.  Many disease processes will not cause immediate death and instead cause a slow painful decline of your pets quality of life.  In these cases, euthanasia can spare a pet unnecessary discomfort and spare family from watching their pet suffer.

How far in advance should I schedule?

We want your pet and family's experience to be as stress free as possible.  We schedule appointments 7 days a week. Contacting us 24-48 hours in advance is ideal as availability may be limited for a same day appointment.  Sometimes pets take a turn for the worse overnight or in a short period of time.  We do our best to accommodate short notice needs, but cannot guarantee same day appointments.  Planning ahead can avoid unnecessary discomfort for your pet and worry for you.  We do not provide services during the middle of the night.  If you have an emergency and cannot reach Footprints after hours, please contact the Animal Emergency & Referral Center at (601) 939-8999 as they are open 24 hours 7 days a week.

Can i stay with my pet during the procedure?

Yes, you can stay with your pet throughout our entire visit.  Your are free to be part of as much or as little of the process as you wish.  

Should children be present?

We feel it is important for children to have an opportunity to say goodbye and welcome their presence.  Children under the age of 5 may be unsure of what is happening and may be unsettled to sense intense emotions from parents so we recommend having a separate (but close) area they can go to after they have had some time with their special friend.  Ultimately you know your children best and can decide what is best for them.

Should my other pets be present?

We feel it is important for other family pets to say goodbye.  Pets, like people, experience grief and this grief may be more intense without closure.  Even if these pets are not present during the procedure, they should be allowed to see that their friend has passed away once the procedure is finished.

What happens after?

After your pet is at peace, you have a few options for after care.  If you choose home burial then you can proceed once the appointment is finished and you have said your goodbyes.  If burial is not possible or not desired, you have the option of private or communal cremation with a local crematorium.  Private cremation means you will receive your pets ashes back.  Communal cremation means that your pet is cremated with a group of other pets and ashes are not returned.

If you desire cremation, Footprints can coordinate with the crematorium of your choice to arrange at home pick up.  If you have questions regarding cost of cremation and home pick up, we encourage you to contact the crematorium of your choice.

What are your professional fees? 

Our Home Euthanasia Service includes travel, house call, sedation and euthanasia.  The fee for this service is $250. 


Additional travel fees may apply based on distance from  the veterinarian's home. The minimum fee for travel over 30 miles is $30.  Appointments outside of normal business hours (8am-6pm) or holidays may incur additional fees.

Aftercare/cremation costs are not included.   Please contact the crematorium of your choice to inquire about the fees for these services. 

We currently do not accept credit cards.  Arrangements for payment with check or cash can be made upon arrival at your home.

Can we receive care from Footprints for our healthy pets?

No, Footprints is dedicated exclusively to end-of-life euthanasia care.  We recommend you see your primary veterinarian for care of other household pets.

Can you euthanize an aggressive pet?

Yes, however we may ask that your primary veterinary prescribe oral sedation medication that can be given before we arrive.  For everyone's safety, we may also request a muzzle be placed until the pet has received the sedative injection.


Unfortunately, some pets are impossible to handle without an unacceptable risk of injury.  Footprints Home Euthanasia reserves the right to refuse to perform a humane euthanasia on any aggressive, unmanageable, or potentially dangerous pet.  

If your pet has bitten someone, euthanasia appointments can be scheduled but there is a waiting period ranging from 10-14 days based on state or local regulation.

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