In home euthanasia

End of life care if never an easy process for pet parents. For folks that are not sure how to decide when the time has come that their pet is having more bad days than good days we offer in home consultation to assess quality of life. For pets with terminal disease we offer hospice care to help keep them comfortable as long as their owners feel they still have adequate quality of life. When the times comes that your beloved pet no longer has an acceptable quality of life we provide peaceful at home euthanasia and transportation for those that would like pet cremation.

We offer in home euthanasia and veterinary hospice care to make the experience as comfortable and stress free as possible for both the pet and the family that loves them. We provide at home care for residents in Aberdeen, Cameron, Carthage, Fayetteville, Ft Bragg / Fort Bragg, Hope Mills, Lillington, Sanford, Southern Pines, Spring Lake, Raeford, Pinehurst, Vass, Whispering Pines, West End and the surrounding area.

We offer in home quality of life evaluation for pet parents that are unsure of their pet’s quality of life and are having trouble deciding if now is the time to schedule euthanasia or if there are other options to help improve their pet’s current state. During these visits Dr. Commerford will perform a physical exam, discuss any medications your pet is on, discuss their daily routine, review quality of life markers and discuss if there are things that can be done to improve or preserve the current state of your pet. It is our opinion that we need to let pet parents know their options and allow them to make the decision that is best for themselves, their family and their pet; we do not judge and there are no right or wrong decisions as long as the decision is made with the pet’s comfort and well being as the top priority. During these visits we can also discuss veterinary hospice care if appropriate for the pet and their family. The cost for in home quality of life evaluation is $120 plus mileage. Please set aside 45 minutes for this evaluation to allow time to evaluate your pet and discuss any options there may be.

Pet Cremation

Cremation cost includes transporting your pet from your home to the crematorium. Dr. Commerford will make all arrangements on your behalf so you do not need to worry about logistics in your time of grief.

General cremation with no remains returned $99 for pets up to 100 lbs.

Private cremation with urn $199 for pets up to 100 lbs and $229 for pets greater than 100 lbs. Pet owners that select this option will have their companion cremated individually and remains are placed in a custom engraved wooden. A unique identifier accompanies your beloved throughout the entire process and is checked several times throughout the process to confirm identity. Please consider what you would like to have engraved. It can be your pet’s name, their name and birth/passing date, or a favorite quote.

The following is borrowed from

The euthanasia decision for a beloved pet may be one of the most difficult choices you must face during your lifetime. It is hard to make a life-ending determination like this for your pet who cannot tell you what his wishes are and yet a judgment call must be made. There are emotional issues such as guilt, grief, and uncertainty as well as financial and/or time commitment matters in choosing to treat or not treat an illness.

When is the Right Time for at home euthanasia?

There is a point where all the love, attention, therapies, and special foods are just not enough. Saying goodbye is emotionally devastating enough without having to suffer through uncertainty in your decision. In our experience it is always best to plan ahead of time to say goodbye on a good day. Pets that are nearing end of life are often on a roller coaster of good days and bad days. Eventually they reach a point at the end of the roller coaster where they peak and have a good day and then free fall in a rapid spiral of decline. At this point people often need to rush their pet to an emergency clinic for a rushed goodbye. On top of the grief of losing their beloved pet the pet parents are then often racked with guilt and feel selfish for waiting too long. We often hear people in this situation whispering quiet “sorry” to their beloved pet instead of being able to celebrate the happy times and tell them “thank you” for the joy they brought to your life. While it is very hard to impossible to decide what day is the right day, we feel that it is better to say goodbye when they are starting to have more bad days than to wait as long as possible and potentially cause the pet to suffer or need to be rushed to an unfamiliar place for an emergency euthanasia- that is often traumatic for both the pet and the family that loves them. When the bad start to outweigh the good it is time to start planning their goodbye.

Quality of Life Scale

Dr. Alice Villalobos, a veterinarian who started a quality of life program for terminal pets called Pawspice, has published a scoring system for life quality called the HHHHHMM scale (see scoring system below). Having a quality of life inventory is helpful in seeing your pet’s situation in a more objective light.

Quality of Life Scale. Score patients on each of the following categories using a scale of 1 to 10,  10 being the highest quality of life. A total of 35 points represents satisfactory quality of life. However, if one category is very low, such as pain then we recommend scheduling a quality of life evaluation by Dr. Commerford to see if there are steps we can take to help make the pet more comfortable.

HURT - Adequate pain control, including breathing ability, is first and foremost on the scale. Is the pet's pain successfully managed? Is oxygen necessary?

HUNGER - Is the pet eating enough? Does hand feeding help? Does the patient require a feeding tube?

HYDRATION - Is the patient dehydrated? For patients not drinking enough, use subcutaneous fluids once or twice daily to supplement fluid intake.

HYGIENE - The patient should be brushed and cleaned, particularly after elimination. Avoid pressure sores and keep all wounds clean.

HAPPINESS - Does the pet express joy and interest? Is the pet responsive to things around him or her (family, toys, etc.)? Is the pet depressed, lonely, anxious, bored or afraid? Can the pet's bed be close to the family activities and not be isolated?

MOBILITY - Can the patient get up without assistance? Does the pet need human or mechanical help (e.g., a cart)? Does the pet feel like going for a walk? Is the pet having seizures or stumbling? (Some caregivers feel euthanasia is preferable to amputation, yet an animal who has limited mobility but is still alert and responsive can have a good quality of life as long as caregivers are committed to helping the pet.)

MORE GOOD DAYS THAN BAD - When bad days outnumber good days, quality of life might be compromised. When a healthy human-animal bond is no longer possible, the caregiver must be made aware the end is near. The decision needs to be made if the pet is suffering. If death comes peacefully and painlessly, that is okay. What we want to avoid is waiting too long, causing the pet to suffer, needing to rush to an emergency clinic for euthanasia and feeling guilt for waiting too long on top of the grief that is expected when we have to say goodbye to someone we love.