Veterinarians see spike in in-home euthanasia services around the holidays

DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) -- It is a tough time for pet owners when they have to say goodbye to their furry friends.

The Green Bay and Allouez Animal Hospital hopes to make what can be a heartbreaking experience a beautiful one by offering in-home pet euthanasia services.

The Hatch family lost their dog, Camp, nearly two years ago.

"He was so comfortable, so peaceful," said Abby Hatch, Camp's owner. "He was on his bed in our living room, and he just went so peacefully."

His memory lives on in pictures.

"I got him before I got married, before the chaos of life started, and he was the best dog ever right from the beginning," said Hatch.

The Springer Spaniel split his time between the Hatch family and Hatch's grandparents.

The pictures spread across the dining room table on Wednesday are proof Camp's eleven years were filled with love.

"The night before he died, he was up in the night panting and doing lots of pacing," said Hatch. "I knew that it was time for him to go."

That is when she call Dr. Becky Krull with the Green Bay and Allouez Animal Hospital.

"I knew that I didn't want him to go to a clinic. I knew that I wanted him to die at home, because that's where animals need to be," said Hatch.

"I remember the day I came to the house to help Camp and his family, and I get chills talking about it," said Krull. "I get chills when Abby retells the story, because it was such a spiritual moment."

Camp spent his last day playing ball in the yard with all of the people he loved the most.

Then, Hatch describes a "holy moment of life where the whole world just stopped."

"Camp was in the front yard with my grandpa, and they all stopped," she said. "They were hugging in the front yard. And they were kissing and were talking, and grandpa said to him, 'I'll meet you on the hill.'"

One month later, her grandpa passed suddenly, holding true to the promise he made his beloved four-legged friend.

"Had I not called Dr. Becky, we wouldn't have had that moment," said Hatch.

Krull says the in-home euthanasia service is the same as the service offered in the clinic; however, you can expect to pay a higher cost for the more private, personalized visit.

The entire process lasts about one hour.

"Although it's the end of life, that bond then is when you see it the most. It's when your heart is aching and you're crying your eyes out, and trust me," said Krull. "I'm part of that, too. I'm right there crying my eyes out with them."

Krull cites a high demand for the in-home euthanasia service for patients and says that only goes up during the holiday season.

"On Monday, I did three euthanasias alone. What happens, lots of things happen for euthanasia to get higher in the holiday season," she said. "One is let's get them through one more holiday. So, that is a goal for people."

Krull invites any pet owners interested in setting up an appointment to call the Green Bay and Allouez Animal Hospital.

She adds the clinic handles the remains after the euthanization, taking them to be cremated locally and returned to pet owners as a keepsake.

"When your pet is coming to their end of life needs, we come to you," said Krull.