Dr. Brockus will arrive at your home in a white Acura MDX. If she is running early or late, she will call you directly at the phone number you provided. Otherwise, she should arrive at your home within 15 minutes of your scheduled appointment. She will be wearing Heart’s Companion green or blue scrubs.
Paperwork & Payment
Once she arrives, Dr. Brockus will go over all the necessary paperwork and answer any questions you may have. The goal is complete transparency and she wants to make sure you are as fully informed as you would like to be about the process, including what to expect after death. Please be prepared to sign a cremation authorization as well as a liability release form. This includes an acknowledgement that your pet has not bitten anyone in the last 10 days. Please know the State requires we ask these questions and is not an assessment or opinion of your pet.
This is also when payment will be discussed and made. If you are planning a private or communal cremation, you must pay for both the vet and cremation services. Payment for the euthanasia will be made directly to Dr. Brockus and the cremation services may be paid via cash, check or credit card to Heart’s Companion.
Dr. Brockus may provide materials including articles about the emotions of euthanasia and dealing with grief. If you have other pets or children, materials about pets and children in grief can be provided.
The next step is to determine how you would like the euthanasia to be performed. It is very important to Dr. Brockus that the experience be as comfortable for your pet and you as possible. Please do not be shy about expressing what you’d like as you are in control of the area and the situation. Dr. Brockus may get on the floor with your pet, you can hold your pet during the process, be outside, or in a special location in your home. You are welcome to have as many or as few people present as desired. Children and other pets are welcome and encouraged to be present as long as they are not disruptive to the peaceful process.
Performing the Euthanasia
Wherever you decide to do the euthanasia, Dr. Brockus will lay out a blanket and/or an absorbent pad underneath where your pet will lay. If needed, Dr. Brockus will wear a headlamp that provides extra light to access the vein. Your pet will be given a sedative which may be administered subcutaneously (under the skin), or in the abdomen for cats and small dogs. This will allow your pet to relax and be calm during the process. The sedative will take 5-10 minutes to reach full effect. Some people prefer to use this time petting, loving, and saying goodbye to their pet. Others will read poems or letters. Others desire to sit quietly. It is completely up to you how you will use this time.
When you are ready, Dr. Brockus will prepare to administer the final injection. First she will apply a tourniquet followed by shaving some hair from the leg. The injection will be given intravenously. Your pet will peacefully pass within minutes of receiving the final injection. At this time, Dr. Brockus will gather her things and take them out to her car allowing you some time alone with your pet. When Dr. Brockus returns, she will check your pet with a stethoscope to ensure your pet has passed.
After Your Pet has Passed
Depending on the size of your pet, Dr. Brockus may ask for help lifting your pet onto her soft stretcher. Your pet will be respectfully placed on the stretcher and covered with a blanket. Your pet will then be taken to Dr. Brockus’ car. You are welcome to come out to the car with your pet. Once your pet is loaded into the car, you will be able to say a final goodbye before she leaves. Dr. Brockus will transport your pet to Heart’s Companion for cremation services. Heart’s Companion will call you as soon as your pet arrives so you know your pet arrived safely.
If Heart's Companion is Performing Your Cremation
Within 48 hours your pet will be cremated and the cremated remains will be returned to you, unless you have elected to have a Custom Pet Paw Print® made, in which case it will be within 72 hours. A Heart's Companion staff member will call you when it is time for your pet's cremated remains to come home.
About Dr. Brockus
Dr. Susan Brockus fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian when she finished her degree from Oklahoma State University, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985. Susan has practiced small animal medicine and emergency medicine/critical care for companion animals. During her 30+ years in practice, Susan has realized how important it is for clients to have hospice and palliative consultation and compassionate euthanasia for their pet at their home. Each home euthanasia she performs is different and she strives to tailor each home visit to the family and pet’s needs.
Susan and her husband moved to Reno in 2006 and love being back “out West." When she is not working, she enjoys running and swimming and spending time with her husband and their kitties.