hospice (1)We are all dedicated pet owners and understand how difficult it is to say goodbye to a member of the family. At this stressful and confusing time we are here to help you prepare and cope with the loss of your friend. We will work closely with you to help you determine when it is time to make this decision. We are in the unique position to provide euthanasia when our animal friends are in distress and we will try to make the process as comfortable as possible for you and your pet.

Once the decision has been made to say goodbye, pet parents have a number of different options available to them. So much of this process is based on personal preference and our staff will support whatever makes you most comfortable during this difficult time.

Many pet parents want to be with their pets during the final moments. Some wish to kiss them goodbye just after checking in for the appointment. Please know that at any time before or during your visit, if your preference changes, that is okay. For those owners choosing not to stay for the duration of the appointment, rest assured that your pet is being cared for by some of the most experienced and compassionate staff in the veterinary field.

What to expect the day of the appointment:
Upon your pet’s arrival, we will need to get a current weight. A stop on our scale is important before proceeding to the exam room. For our cats and smaller pets, we will use a scale in the exam room. There is a form that gives the veterinarian permission to proceed and that will be presented to you for your signature.

A veterinary technician will escort you and your pet into an exam room and make sure that you do not have any questions or concerns that you would like addressed by the veterinarian. Once you are comfortable to proceed with the appointment, your pet will be taken to the treatment area to have an intravenous catheter placed (this gives direct access to the vein) and will immediately be brought back into the room to be with you. It is at this point that the technician will give you time with your pet and will return with the veterinarian.

Everyone’s needs are different once their pet has been euthanized. Some wish to remain with their pets for a period of time in the exam room and others do not. Some wish to pay for the visit in the exam room and others wish to pay prior to entering the exam room, all to avoid having to stop at the reception desk afterwards during such a difficult time.

The final decision a pet parent must consider is what to do with their pet’s remains once they are euthanized. The following are all of the options that are available at this time.

  • Home Burial – Pet parents can always request that they take their pet home with them, regardless of the season. We recommend that you allow us to prepare them for transport, in effort to help contain any release of bodily fluids.
    • Cremation Options:
      • Private Cremation – For pet parents wishing that their pet’s ashes are returned to them, this is the option to choose. We do not offer urns, but the ashes are returned in a respectable fashion which pet parents can then do what is personally preferred. NPVH uses a crematorium located here in North Pole. Our staff will transport your loved one for you and will call you upon their return to our hospital.
      • Group Cremation – For pet parents wanting their pet cremated, but not for the reason of having their remains returned, this is an option available. Our staff will transport your pet after you have said your goodbyes.
      • FNSB Animal Shelter receives pets for cremation at no cost to the owner. For many, there is an emotional barrier that makes it difficult to exercise this option, as it is the pet parent’s responsibility to transport their loved one to Fairbanks from our hospital. When the Shelter is open to the public, they will receive your pet from you in person and if they are closed, there is a receptacle to place your pet outside of the Shelter building.

For any option above that you may choose, NPVH also offers you a personal keepsake of your pet, if you so desire. Once your pet has passed away, we can make an impression of their paw into a soft clay that then hardens. There is no cost for this and our staff will ask if this is something that interests you.