I am so grateful for all that you have done for my family and Sam. The whole experience was as good as it could have been, Thank You!
More than Just Home Euthanasia
We know you have choices when seeking a veterinarian to come to your home. Arms of Aloha is the only veterinary practice in Hawaii that specializes in end-of-life care for companion animals – this is what we do all day, every day. Our goal is to facilitate your creation of an experience that honors your animal friend as well as your beliefs and preferences. Everyone on our team understands that this is a significant life event for you, and we all have formal training in grief support.
You are no doubt making some very tough decisions right now. Many people that call us are uncertain when is the “right time” to choose the gift of euthanasia for their loyal friend. It’s a blessing to have this option, but it can feel like a huge responsibility. We want to help you, whether or not you ultimately schedule an appointment with us. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions. You can email us or call us directly at 808-435-3006. We can help you meet your goals and address what you’re worried about. We’ll share resources about the natural dying process, evaluating quality of life, recognizing signs of pain and discomfort, and even what to expect with a particular disease process. Learn more about contacting us here.
Whatever it is you need, we are here to walk alongside you on this journey. Our compassionate home euthanasia service includes valuable information on supporting grieving children and family pets, honoring the memory of your companion, and making the process beautiful and meaningful for the whole family. Whatever your particular beliefs or faith, our chaplain can help you plan a ceremony to take place before, during, or after your appointment. We have a large selection of custom wearable keepsakes and personalized cremation urns, currently available exclusively to our clients.
What can I expect?
“I wish he could just pass away in his sleep.”
This thought is expressed to us more than any other, and for good reason. Few of us are fortunate enough to have that happen on its own, and at some point most families will decide to choose euthanasia for a pet who no longer has good quality of life. Our doctor has extensive specialized training to create the most peaceful and gentle transition possible.
We feel strongly that such a sacred duty should never be rushed. To help you be comfortable with the process, our doctor will explain everything in as much or as little detail as you need, and will make sure that you get answers to all your questions. You will sign a consent form and will be given the opportunity to take care of the finances before we begin.
The particular details of the process will depend on what works best for the pet and for you. If you have specific requests or your pet has special needs, let us know when you schedule so that we can discuss how to accommodate them. Generally, our doctor will give a combination of sedative and pain medication to help your pet feel relaxed, safe, and comfortable before proceeding.
We have found that the entire visit takes an average of about 45 minutes, sometimes a bit more or less. We schedule more time, however, in case you or your pet just need some extra time for any reason.
What will happen after my pet passes?
You will be given time to pay your respects in private. If you have chosen cremation and would like to hold your pet’s remains for ceremony, let us know and we can discuss your options for a later pick-up. Otherwise, when you’re ready, our doctor will take care of the cremation arrangements right away. We handle all the details and logistics, and will leave you with some information for reference in case you have questions later.
Our doctor will also make a clay paw print as a keepsake for you. We use high quality, durable polymer clay. The piece will be stamped with your pet’s name, painted and sealed with acrylic before it is returned to you. Each piece really is a unique work of art, and we take enormous pride in creating them. Extra paw prints or nose prints are available for an additional cost.
If this is the first time you have had a pet pass away, you may want to know what your options are. The most common arrangements are:
- Burial. If you have space and it’s allowed, many pet owners take comfort in having their beloved laid to rest at home. You will need to check with the City and County Zoning Department (firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-808-768-3809) and your homeowner’s association first. Call the Hawaiian Humane Society at 1-808-356-2217 for more information. You may also wish to contact Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, home of the only pet cemetery on Oahu, at 1-808-239-8811, or ask us for more information about their services.
- Cremation. We work closely with Oahu Pet Crematory, providing the transportation for you to ensure that your beloved is handled with respect and care. Our turnaround times are very fast for those who would like to have the cremated remains returned home. Please see more about your options on this page.
There are other, unique ways to handle aftercare that may be of interest to some. For some additional options and ideas, see this article.
What should we do to get ready?
The short answer is, you don’t need to do anything. There is absolutely no need to withhold medications (especially if they’re important for comfort) or food prior to the appointment. We have handled just about every situation and location type imaginable, so you can leave the logistics to us if you wish. Here are some things you might want to give some consideration to, based on our past experience:
- Where would you like to be? Most pets will be most comfortable on the floor or ground in a familiar environment or favorite place. Some of the most beautiful experiences we have been involved with took place in a private yard, at a park, or on the beach. Since we lucky we live Hawaii, the weather usually cooperates, but it’s good to have a backup plan if this is your choice. Some other things to think about when outdoors are direct sun and insects (especially at dusk). If you choose a public setting, you may find you’re more comfortable at a less busy time of day or in a private corner away from crowds.
- Who do you want to be there? Hanai ohana, neighbors, and other important people and animals in your lives may appreciate the opportunity to bid aloha or be present. We’ve had family Skype in from the mainland. Some of our clients have even thrown parties for their pet prior to their passing.
- What would you like to do? Are there rituals that would bring you spiritual and emotional comfort? Would you like to read a few prepared remarks, sing a song, or simply hold him or her in your lap? Upon request, we can provide soothing classical music and calming essential oil aromatherapy.
Coping with Loss
Animal companions bring us the gift of pure, unconditional love. They often accompany us through big life changes, a constant source of comfort and acceptance of us as we are. The heavy (but mostly willing) price we pay lies in the grief that comes when it’s time to say goodbye. In recognition of that beautiful relationship and special bond, we offer pet loss support groups and other grief services. There is a wealth of other resources available out there. Her are some of our favorites:
- The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement offers articles, online chat groups, and other sources of comfort to those who need it.
- The Hawaiian Humane Society offers a pet loss support group, currently meeting the first Tuesday of every month. Call 1-808-356-2222 to attend.
- Iowa State University Pet Loss Support Hotline: 1-888-478-7574
- Additional hotlines, websites and resources: Pet Loss Help
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