CINCINNATI (FOX19) - It’s never an easy decision to put your pet down, but many dog and cat owners are faced with that choice at some point -- and even that experience is different during the pandemic.
A Tri-State company founded a decade ago is trying to make that experience easier for pets and their owners.
“This is unique,” Kate Smith, DVM, explained. “We are one-of-a-kind in what we are able to do and how we do it, and that it is critically important.”
Smith is a veterinarian with Angel’s Paws.
Agel’s Paws provides end-of-life care for dogs and cats and In-home euthanasia. They also offer a pet-loss support group for free.
It was founded 10 years ago by Tammy Wynn. She got the idea to bring hospice to pets after her dad received hospice care in his final days.
Wynn was surprised to learn there is no hospice-type care for pets. That’s when she quit her job as a consultant and social worker and went back to school to be a vet tech. Now she uses her skills as a social worker to help families cope with the loss of a pet.
“My dad left me with entrepreneurial genes,” Wynn said. “And I thought, ‘Ok I’m supposed to invent this,’ and Angel’s Paws came from that.”
Wynn says during the pandemic, they have had to adjust the way they operate. Because they do most of their work in people’s homes, they had to get masks and sanitizer.
Matthew 25 Ministries helped with the sanitizer, and Kate Smith’s mom made masks for the staff. But they couldn’t do anything about not being able to comfort those grieving.
“We’re huggers! We feel so much for our families that we want to console them with a hug,” explained Wynn.
“I was able to actually see Gordon’s decline,” said Jennifer Siegrist as she remembered her last days with her dog. “And so I was home with him a lot. But Memorial Day weekend it took a real turn.”
Siegrist called Angel’s Paws to help Gordon pass at home so she could be by his side.
Now, Siegrist is donating her landscaping skills to spruce up the gardens at Angel’s Paws, which had been ignored while the office was closed during the pandemic.
John Clifton with Earth’s Dragon, a landscaping company, was willing to help at no cost too.
Siegrist’s dog and Gordon’s brother, MacGregor comes too. Siegrist says working in this garden is healing for her.
“It’s the greatest compassionate gift a pet parent can give to their pet,” said Wynn. “To allow them to stay at home. I always say there is no place like home when it’s end of life.”