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Compassion is our philosophy and our mission. To that end, we work with local animal charities by making a donation in memory of each pet we euthanaize and by lending our support at their events. Our good will extends beyond our patients, out to our community. We support our fellow small business owners by utilizing local services and locally sourced goods whenever possible.

Dr. Tiffany Palozzi

I have spent my entire veterinary profession in San Diego. Three rambunctious cats and a sweet, elderly dog reside in my home. Most of my career has been spent working in the emergency sector which encompassed guiding families through unforeseen, emotionally challenging experiences. I have always felt honored helping people during the stress that inevitably occurs with emergency care. These vulnerable encounters have shaped my solid understanding of how truly important and unique each person’s bond is with their pet.

Recently, I had to say goodbye to my own pets; a cat named Blue with metastatic intestinal adenocarcinoma and a year later to another cat named Steak Sandwich with end stage kidney disease. I felt great peace with my decision knowing the severity of their disease processes and saying good-bye to both cats in their favorite living room spots.

Compassionate euthanasia is such an important part of veterinary medicine. Sometimes as veterinarians all we can offer is a peaceful exit from this world.  The ability to eliminate suffering is a precious gift. Yes, it is sad and emotional, but I feel good knowing I can help guide families through the decision process. With each euthanasia, I am comforted by knowing I have ended suffering.

My own at home euthanasia story…

Holly was a beagle mix, slightly over a year old when she entered our lives. She was always full of life, she never did anything at half speed. As the years went by, we often commented the day Holly didn’t raise a ruckus would likely be her last day. The years went by, she may have  spent more time sleeping than not, but she was still always nosey, always had something to say when someone walked by and always ate with excitement. Sadly though, she no longer enjoyed car rides, what once brought her joy now brought stress and anxiety.  Our dog beach days were over.

One morning, at the glorious age of 17, she did not get up. I remember her eyes looking up at me, her tail barely wagged. Her heart rate was slow and body felt cold. The day I had dreaded was finally here. Despite my best efforts I could not get her body temperature up. I eventually was able to encourage her to eat some hamburger from my hand and that took about all she had in her. I knew she had outlived her body and it was time to say goodbye. I could not fathom putting her in the car to drive to the vet hospital, even though I worked at one. I had been there before with another dog and that final ride was horrible for all of us.  Now, holding this old girl, I knew in my heart I could not put her through that stress.

I was fortunate to be able to call someone from the hospital; they brought the medications over. Holly passed away in her bed, in my arms, at home in our living room. I was so grateful I had that choice. I had performed many at-home euthanasias but never before did I truly appreciate what it meant to say goodbye in the comfort of home.

Dr. Stephanie Schneider

© 2017 by Loving Hands Veterinary Services.