Compassionate End of Life Care
Saying goodbye to a cherished companion is one of the hardest things we have to do in our lives. These beautiful souls are only with us for what always feels like too short a time. Stillwaters Veterinary Care offers you the opportunity to say goodbye to your beloved pet in the comfort of your own home, at your own pace, by your pet's side the entire time. Our mission is to make this heartbreaking process as peaceful and personalized as possible because we understand it is already difficult enough.
We know that saying goodbye to your pet is very difficult. We come to your home to meet you, your family, and your pet. We explain the whole process and help you decide what your wishes are for your pet's remains. We then give your pet sedation to allow them time to fall asleep gradually before the last injection is given to let them go peacefully. Once your pet has peacefully passed we can make a clay pawprint impression to help you cherish your pet's memory and provide you resources for other keepsakes such as specialized urns, photo frames, or jewelry. If you are electing water-based cremation services with us then we respectfully take your pet with us and will return the ashes to you personally at home in 2-3 weeks if individual cremation is elected.
Say goodbye in the peace of your own home
Our service involves the following components to make the process as comfortable and meaningful as possible:
- The ability to say goodbye in the place that is the most familiar and comfortable for both you and your pet. We'll come to your home.
- The choice to stay with your pet for the entire process.
- The time to tell us about your pet and why they are so precious to you during our visit.
- Meaningful memorabilia: We'll provide you with a paw print impression and locks of your pet's fur to remember your beloved pet.
- The option to have your pet's remains returned to you through a process that is much gentler for your pet and the environment than standard cremation.
Click here for more detailed information on what to expect
In-Home Euthanasia Prices & Options
We provide services primarily for cats and dogs but can be flexible with other types of pets including small mammals, reptiles, and birds. Please call for consultation about exotic pets, if your pet has any special needs such as fear of strangers, aggression, or mobility issues, or if you have any personal requests.
We can schedule a visit to say goodbye if your family feels that it is a kind choice but if you have questions about your decision you should contact your veterinarian or make a virtual or in home quality of life consultation with one of our doctors.
|Distance from Ithaca OR Syracuse
|Within 50 miles
|Within 50 miles, after hours*
|Beyond 50 miles
|Beyond 50 miles, after hours
* The after-hours fee applies to appointments at 5pm or after during the week or anytime during a weekend or holiday.
** Pet pick-up is for pets that are already deceased that we are picking up at your home or another location, such as your veterinarian's office. A memorial paw print and fur clipping is included. Aftercare charges are in addition to the cost of the pick-up.
Prices include all professional services rendered (the euthanasia process) and memorabilia (clay paw print and fur clippings). Prices do not include any aftercare. Please refer to our water-based cremation services for information and pricing. A lower cost euthanasia option is available at our Comfort Center. Please click here for details.
There is a $25 same day fee for scheduling a visit for your pet the same day of your call. Same-day appointments require increased coordination and communication with our providers to accommodate your visit with their existing schedule for the day and often involves re-routing our vehicles and/or changing the provider. This fee is due at the time of scheduling the visit and is non-refundable even if the visit does not occur.
If your pet passes on their own before we arrive for the appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so we can notify our provider and coordinate aftercare (pick up of your pet for cremation services and/or memorialization), if applicable. We will also notify your veterinarian so you don't have to make that difficult phone call.
If your pet has severe anxiety or aggression issues and you are not able to assist the veterinarian in administering the initial sedation injection under the skin when they arrive please let us know. We can arrange to have an oral sedation kit dropped off at your home with explanation on how to use it prior to the scheduled appointment. The cost for this additional step is $50 within the 50 mile primary radius and $100 beyond the 50 mile radius. The majority of pets we help do not need this additional step, please discuss this with the veterinarian when you call if you think your pet will need pre-sedation prior to arrival.
Euthanasias for non-medical reasons:
On occasion, we render in-home euthanasia visits for aggression reasons. In that situation, our goal is to make your pet's passing as peaceful and dignified as possible in their own home. We require a virtual quality of life session with one of our doctors prior to the appointment to ensure that all behavioral and/or medical intervention options have been exhausted, that there is not a rehoming or other management option for your pet, and that you are at peace about your decision as much as possible. The cost of the quality of life session is $130 and includes a sedation kit of oral medication to give your pet prior to our arrival to relax them if we feel that a euthanasia visit is warranted. We do not perform any euthanasias for other reasons (including changes in life circumstances that prevent you from keeping your pet) and recommend reaching out to rescue or shelter organizations in that situation.
Why do these in-home services cost more than services provided by our regular vet?
Stillwaters Veterinary Care covers a large territory and our staff comes directly to your home so you are able to keep your pet where they are most comfortable. For in-home euthanasias, we may be at the home for up to an hour and a lot of preparation and follow-up work is necessary to help your pet pass peacefully at home. We work hard to ensure we respect your wishes and are in compliance with all of our professional requirements. We also communicate with your veterinarian clinic throughout the process. We want this heartbreaking process to be as gentle and worry free for your pet and your family as possible and take great care to ensure that happens.
We serve clients in Onondaga, Cayuga, Cortland, Tompkins, Schuyler, Seneca, Chemung, Tioga and parts of Oswego, Wayne, Yates, Madison, Broome, Ontario, Steuben, Chenango, and Oneida counties. Please contact us to see if we are able to accommodate you if you are beyond our normal radius. We use Google Maps to determine the distance from our location to calculate associated fees. To check the distance for us to get to your home, choose a location below and enter your address in to the starting point to find the distance that will be used to determine the cost of our visit.
Calculate your distance:
If you live farther than 50 miles, please contact us to see if it feasible for us to provide service to you based on your location.
Payment is due before or at the time of service unless previously arrangements have been made. Payments can be made by cash, Scratchpay, CareCredit, or credit card. We accept most major credit cards over the phone for pre-payment, or accept most major credit cards, Scratchpay, or cash at the time of service. At this time we are only accepting personal checks in certain situations. There is a $25 returned check fee.
Learn more about financing options & our Compassionate Crossings fund
We understand that circumstances with your pet's health may change prior to your scheduled appointment. If you need to cancel your appointment, please call or email before 8am the day of the scheduled appointment to avoid being billed for services. If you are canceling after 8am the day of your scheduled visit there will be a $150 cancellation fee because late cancellations prevent us from providing services to other families. We may take a deposit the next time a visit is scheduled, if we received less than 24 hours notice of a previous visit cancellation.
Stillwaters Veterinary Care offers in home or virtual visits to help you evaluate your pet's quality of life, help you decide when the time for euthanasia may be right for your pet, consider alternative treatment options, and to help you pro-actively make arrangements so that it is less stressful when the time comes to say goodbye. Learn More }
Compassionate Pet Aftercare Services
We offer a more gentle and environmentally-friendly water-based cremation service. Learn More }
Burial for your pet is up to your discretion and not a service we provide. View Burial Recommendations }
Saying goodbye to a cherished companion is one of the hardest things we have to do in our lives. It is a very emotionally hard and scary decision to make. They provide us with unconditional love and devoted companionship. Many people have experienced the loss of a pet before but the experience never gets easier and is different for everyone. Our goal is make this experience as peaceful as possible for you and your much loved pet. To help understand what to expect we have outlined our visit below:
Before we arrive, think about where you want your pet to pass peacefully. We can do this in any location in your house or outdoors, weather permitting. Try to minimize distractions that will take away from your peaceful time with your pet. Think about a calming background with soothing music or candles for your pet and surround them with their favorite toys or blankets. Lavender essential oils can be calming and you can place 1-2 drops on the nape of their neck or head. Please make arrangments so we are able to park in the closest spot in the driveway so that we can get to our supplies easily and get your pet to our vehicle as peacefully as possible at the end if you have chosen to have us handle your pet's aftercare.
Click here for more recommendations for reducing stress for fearful and anxious pets
When we arrive, we will come in and greet your family and your pet. Other pets are welcome to be around as long as they are not disruptive to the peaceful process of saying goodbye. We will complete the necessary paperwork while everyone is adjusting to our presence in the home. New York State requires that we ask you if your pet has bitten any human in the last 10 days. If your pet has bitten someone, please call us ahead of time so that we can discuss how to best proceed with a goodbye visit. We will also facilitate payment arrangements at this time so all focus can be on your pet from there forward. Payment is due at time of service.
Once you are ready, we will administer one injection under the skin that is a combination of a pain medication, a sedative, and an anesthetic. This allows your loved one to comfortably fall asleep over about 5 to 10 minutes. We can step out of the room if your pet has stranger anxiety so the last thing your pet is aware of is only your family. We do everything we can to make this first injection as easy as possible for your pet and most pets do not react. If your pet is very sensitive, has an increased pain level, or is very thin they may react to this first injection. The pain medication works very quickly and soon your pet will be comfortable before they fall asleep.
Once your pet is comfortable, we will locate an area to give the second medication. This may be a leg or internally if we are unable to get IV access on your pet. Once the medication is given, the mind will quiet first, followed by the breathing and then the heart will stop beating. The location in which the medication is given will determine how long it will take your pet to pass but we will confirm your pet is at peace. If you want time with your pet once he/she has passed, you may take the time you need.
Memorialization & Aftercare
At this time we will also make a paw print if you would like one. We offer several memorialization options including clay, ink print, or a foam memory box. We also offer a special custom memorial item called an Eternal Paw. It is created by a local artist from your pet's paw print. His/her print will be molded onto a river rock with a nameplate. We can also obtain a lock of fur if you wish.
If you have chosen to have us handle your pet's aftercare, we will then bring in a stretcher with a pillow and blanket to transport your pet to our vehicle. We will require assistance from one family member or friend if your pet is over 30 pounds. We will handle your pet with great care as if they were our own.
If you have opted for private cremation, we will personally return your pet home to you in a high-quality wooden urn within approximately 1-3 weeks.
We understand this is a heartbreaking time. If there is anything we can do to make this easier for you or your cherished pet, or if you have any questions, please let us know. We are here for you during this difficult time.
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our services and options.