Frequently Asked Questions

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What is euthanasia?

The term 'euthanasia' comes from Greek meaning 'good death'.

The American Veterinary Medical Association defines 'Euthanasia' as 'the act of inducing humane death in an animal.

It is our responsibility as veterinarians and human beings to ensure that if an animal's life is to be taken, it is done with the highest degree of respect, and with an emphasis on making the death as painless and distress free as possible.'

Learn more about our Home Euthanasia Service  

How will I know its the right time?

Unfortunately, there is no 'perfect' time. The answer is different for every pet and family. You know your pet best and can assess conditions that may indicate that it is time to consider euthanasia. Asking these questions can help guide your decision:

-Is my pet eating?

-Is my pet vomiting?

-Does my pet still love and hate all the things they normally love and hate?

-Is my pet in pain?

Learn more about the decision making process

Why is 'at home' euthanasia recommended?

Both pets and families benefit from choosing to say goodbye at home. Your pet and family will be more comfortable at home than anywhere else.  Your family, including other pets, can say goodbye to your beloved pet in privacy at your own pace and your pet's side the entire time.


Why should I choose euthanasia vs 'dying naturally'?

We all wish that our pets will peacefully close their eyes at the end of their life and simple not wake up. Unfortunately,  this is rarely the case with a natural death. Many disease processes will not cause immediate death and instead cause a slow painful decline of your pet's quality of life. In these cases, euthanasia can spare a pet unnecessary discomfort and spare family from watching their pet suffer.

How far in advance should I schedule?

We want your pet and family's experience to be as stress-free as possible.  Contacting us a minimum of 24-48 hours in advance is recommended. We understand that pets can take a turn for the worse overnight or in a short period of time.  Dr. McClellan will do the best she can to accommodate same-day requests, but often she is committed for several days or even up to a week in advance.   Planning ahead can avoid unnecessary discomfort for your pet and worry for you.

Can I stay with my pet during the procedure?

Yes, you can stay with your pet throughout our entire visit. You are free to be part of as much or as little of the process as you wish.  

Should children be present?

We feel it is important for children to have an opportunity to say goodbye. Children of all ages are welcome to be present throughout our visit. Children under the age of 5 may be unsure of what is happening and may be unsettled to sense intense emotions from parents so we recommend having a separate(but close) area they can go to after they have had some time with their special friend.

Learn more about Helping Children Say Goodbye

Should my other pets be present?

We feel it is important for other family pets to say goodbye. Pets, like people, experience grief and this grief may be more intense without closure. Even if these pets are not present during the procedure, they should be allowed to see that their friend has passed away.

Learn more about Helping Your Grieving Pet 

What happens after?

After your pet is at peace, you have a few options for aftercare.  If home burial is not an option, we can arrange for cremation for an additional fee.

Learn more about our Aftercare Options

What are your professional fees? 

Our Home Euthanasia Service includes travel to your home, sedation tailored to your pet's specific needs, peaceful euthanasia procedure, and a memorial keepsake ink paw print. 

 Same-Day/ Urgent Care , Evening(5pm and later), Weekend, Holiday appointments(when available) may incur additional fees.($50-$100)

Appointments located in our extended service area will incur an additional fee ($50-$100). These areas include - Arab, Athens, Decatur, Grant, Guntersville, Hartselle, Somerville, Scottsboro.

If your pet weighs over 30lbs, we may ask for family assistance to help move your loved one. If you or your family are unable to assist, we may provide an extra person to help for an additional fee. 

We prefer pre-payment with a credit card at the time of scheduling. We have found that taking care of paperwork/ payment before the home visit allows you to focus on spending time with your pet.  Arrangements for payment with cash can be made upon arrival at your home if necessary. We do not accept checks.

Can we receive care from Companion Crossing for our healthy pets?

No, Companion Crossing is dedicated exclusively to end-of-life euthanasia care. We recommend you see your family veterinarian for care of other household pets.

Can you euthanize an aggressive pet?

Yes, however, we may ask that your primary veterinary prescribe oral sedation medication that can be given before we arrive. For everyone's safety, we may also request a muzzle be placed until the pet is sedated. 


Unfortunately, some pets are impossible to handle without an unacceptable risk of injury.  Companion Crossing Home Pet Euthanasia reserves the right to refuse to perform humane euthanasia on any aggressive, unmanageable, or potentially dangerous pet.  

****If your pet has bitten someone, euthanasia appointments can be scheduled but there may be a waiting period ranging from 10-14 days. Prior arrangements must be made between your family veterinarian and Dr. McClellan.  Please contact us to discuss these situations so we can best advise you on moving forward.