The decision to have a pet put down is never easy, and it most often involves taking them to the vet and then returning home without them. Luckily we have MN Pets, a Minneapolis-based organization that generously euthanizes pets in the comfort of their own home, and provides counseling services after the fact.
A team of licensed veterinarians and grief counselors offer medical advice, support groups, hotlines, and next-day delivery of cremated remains. Owners who do not have their pets cremated usually choose to bury them on their private land, as currently there are no pet burial facilities in the Twin Cities area that receive new pets.
In an interview with Dr. Rebecca McComas, who founded MN Pets in 2010, she revealed the reasons why home is often the best place for a pet to be euthanized.
“I have heard many stories about the difficult memories of in-clinic euthanasia that people carry with them for years,” she says. “At home their pet is relaxed and comfortable and unafraid. Home is so different from a veterinary clinic where there are often telephones ringing, stainless steel tables and other pet owners watching you enter and leave the clinic.”
Although MN Pets works mostly with cats and dogs, they have performed home euthanasia for rabbits as well. For those who cannot afford their services, there is the Buddy Fund, which was named for a dog featured on the website’s homepage. This fund is run on donations, so anyone wanting to assist fellow pet owners can make a onetime donation or register to donate on a monthly basis.
In addition to counseling services, MN Pets provides collage workshops managed by Lisa Havelin, a licensed therapist and grief counselor who also works as a studio artist and art department faculty member at St. Catherine University.
“Creative expression can be a wonderful way to access personal insight and healing,” Dr. McComas says. “Through the use of collage as a visual language, the workshop provides instruction and a safe environment in which grievers will learn how to give a visual ‘voice’ to their experience.”
Last year, MN Pets celebrated Pet Memorial Day for the first time, and they plan on doing so again on the second Sunday of September 2014. There will be a gathering to release flower petals off Minneapolis’s Stone Arch Bridge, and donations will be collected for the planting of a memorial tree at the Pets Remembered garden, as well as for the MN Spay Neuter Assistance Program.