Dr. Mary Craig Opens a New Mobile Veterinary Service Focused on End of Life Care for Pets

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With 20 years in the field of veterinary medicine, Dr. Craig has launched Gentle Goodbye Veterinary Hospice & At-home Euthanasia for pet owners in Fairfield County, CT and Westchester County, NY. The practice provides home visits to give comfort care to pets with terminal illnesses and when it is time, to euthanize the pet at home, avoiding a final stressful trip to the vet’s office.

Dr Craig and her dog, Guinness

Dr Craig and her dog, Guinness

End-of-life care and final decisions are emotional and very personal. The whole family benefits from making that last experience you have with a pet less stressful.

This new veterinary service helps create a “gentle goodbye” at home, when the family is ready, with the support and remembrances, like a clay pawprint that will help you through the difficult process of letting your friend go. People often find the loss of a pet less difficult if, at the end of a pet’s life, they are able to say goodbye in a way that honors the relationship, the commitment and the amazing bond they have.

Dr. Mary Craig grew up in a household full of animals – from fish and hamsters to rabbits and dogs. As the story goes, she was even caught once feeding the ants in the basement when she was five. These early experiences shaped her as she went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Her work with clients and patients in the final stage of life is driven by compassion not only to relieve pain and suffering of animals, but to create an experience that helps people make peace with the death of their pet.

“End-of-life care and final decisions are emotional and very personal. The whole family benefits from making that last experience you have with a pet less stressful,” Dr. Craig said. “I get great satisfaction from helping families evaluate the quality of life of a geriatric pet and explore how we can provide comfort care. Many times, I am called once a family has made the decision that ‘It’s time’ and we schedule a visit immediately.”

A recent USA Today article on veterinary hospice quoted Amir Shanan, a Chicago veterinarian and Board President of the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care, in saying that it is an increasingly common for pets to die at home. “There's a lot more going on in this field than two to three years ago, but it hasn't reached its potential,” Dr Shanan said.

Visit the Gentle Goodbye website (GentleGoodbye.org) for more information on services and to download the handout, “How to Know When It’s Time.”

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