Stillwaters Veterinary Care - End of Life Services for Pets

Compassionate Services

Because saying goodbye to a beloved pet is so difficult, Stillwaters Veterinary Care is committed to helping pet owners with end of life process including:

Meet our Veteranarian

Dr. Annette Otis - Veterinarian

Dr. Annette Otis

I get asked all the time "how can I do this job, it must be so sad" and am told "I could never do what you do, I love animals too much" so I want to talk a little about 'why' I started this service.

I was a dedicated emergency veterinarian for 12 years and unfortunately had to perform a large number of euthanasias as part of my job. I know that saying goodbye is the most difficult part of having a pet and it was heartbreaking to see people do this in the stressful environment of the typical clinical setting. I began to think of ways to improve the euthanasia process for pets and their families. I realized that being able to say goodbye in a familiar and comfortable place with a process that encourages reflection and closure is more peaceful for you, and more importantly, your pet. So I stepped away from my emergency veterinarian career in order to provide these services to the local community because of the great need I saw to keep pets at home for their end of life needs. So as sad as it is to say goodbye to these beautiful souls it does bring me joy to see all the love and companionship they have shared with their families through their lives and help families give the gift of a peaceful passing to their beloved pets.

I grew up in the Finger Lakes and Central New York region and attended undergraduate at Cornell University. I continued my education at Colorado State University earning a Master's degree in Anatomy and Neurobiology and lived there several years before returning to New York to attend veterinary college at Cornell University. After graduating in 2005, I completed an internship in Virginia at Southpaws Veterinary Specialists and Surgery Center. I stayed in Alexandria, VA to practice emergency for another five years before missing the Finger Lakes and my family too much. I moved back to the area in the fall of 2011 and have lived in Skaneateles since. My "farm" currently consists of a Catahoula Leopard dog mix named "Effie," a Border Collie mix named "Keene," cats "Gonzalo" and "Hubris," and 10 pet chickens (the "Divas") named after various female singers. I love to hike, bike, paddleboard and do agility with my dogs in my free time. I am very passionate about improving the human animal bond and preserving our natural environment. The Adirondacks is my "happy place."

I am a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Veterinarian (CHPV) and a member of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care. I am the first provider in the Syracuse to complete their 18 month certification program. The IAAHPC promotes comfort care that addresses the physical, psychological, and social needs of animals with chronic and/or life-limiting diseases. They promote physical, emotional, and spiritual support for caregivers. They also educate professionals and advance research in the field of animal hospice and palliative care.

I am also a graduate of the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy that focuses on the "Education in the Art of a Gentle Death."

International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care     Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy Seal