Our pets are part of the family, so when it comes to saying goodbye it can be an extremely tough and emotional time.
Here at Rufford Vets we believe support during this time is important; Becky, our on site Pet Bereavement Advisor is dedicated to providing you with any support you need throughout grieving the loss of an animal.
For help, guidance or an informal chat with someone who will listen and understand, please contact Becky by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, write to or telephone the surgery leaving your contact details; Becky will respond to you as soon as possible to arrange a convenient time to talk.
"Having lost pets myself I know how devastating it can be, it is like losing a family member. Ever since I was young I have had a passion to help animals and their owners. Knowing that someone is there for support when you lose your cherished one can mean a lot and can make all the difference. That is why I chose to make myself available for support. It is not something anyone should have to go through alone"
When and where can we say goodbye?
We hope this section will help you and your family understand your pet’s end-of-life journey. This is known as ‘euthanasia’ but often referred to as ‘putting to sleep’. After discussing with your family and your vet, and having decided that the time has come, you can contact your surgery and make an appointment. We will always try to make this appointment at a time that is convenient for you – usually at a quieter time of the day.
It is also possible to arrange this appointment to be performed in the comfort of your own home. If this is an option you would like, we will do our best to arrange a home visit. In these cases, a vet and a nurse will visit your home. When they have put your pet to sleep, they will either take the body back to the surgery for cremation or leave them with you to bury at home. Additional charges will apply for this service and certain times of day may be restricted.
Will I be able to stay with my pet?
Being present when your pet is put to sleep will be both emotional and distressing, but the majority of owners feel that they give comfort to their pet during their last moments, and can make their final goodbyes. But this is not comfortable for everyone; we understand if you do not want to stay in the room with your pet but make your goodbyes afterwards. We will always make time for you and your family to do this.
What will happen?
Initially, your vet or another member of our team will ask you to sign a consent form to give us permission to put your pet to sleep. You may have already discussed with your vet what you then wish to do with your pet’s body, but we will confirm this on the consent form.
Many owners are surprised by how peaceful euthanasia can be. Euthanasia involves injecting an overdose of anaesthetic into the vein of your pet’s front leg. Some of our vets would have previously inserted a catheter into the vein or sedated your pet if they are particularly nervous or uncomfortable.
After the anaesthetic has been injected, your pet’s heart will stop beating and they will rapidly lose consciousness and stop breathing. Your vet will check that their heart has stopped beating and confirm that they have passed away. On occasion, the pet’s muscles and limbs may tremble and they may gasp a few times, these are reflex actions only – not signs of life – but may be upsetting. If they occur, they are unavoidable. Your pet’s eyes will remain open and it is normal for them to empty their bowel or bladder as the body shuts down.
The practice now uses the services of Cambridge Pet Crematorium. Please don't hesitate to contact the practice to discuss the options available
Additional bereavement support
The Ralph Site
Our Special Friends
Pet Bereavement Support Service Helpline on 08000 966 606
Our Special Friends
World Horse Welfare
Pet Bereavement Support Service Helpline on 0800 0966 606
Books for adults
- Absent Friend by Laura and Martyn Lee
- Goodbye, Dear Friend: Coming to terms with the Death of a Pet by Virginia Ironside
Books for Children
-Goodbye Mousie by Robie H. Harris (2001)
-Missing My Pet by Alex Lambert (aged six) (2006)
Children's Bereavement Workbook