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Saying Goodbye

No matter what we call it—"put to sleep", "put down", "help get to heaven"— making the decision to euthanize a beloved pet is extremely difficult. The process of losing a pet is different for everyone, and we at Butler Creek Animal Hospital have the highest respect for that. We promise to do everything we can to help and support our clients during such painful times. Watching a beloved pet's health decline is an extremely hard thing to go through—it is losing your best friend. Our compassionate staff members will always do everything in our power to make this time less painful for pets, and for their families too. During the natural process of aging, or the very unfortunate circumstance where a pet becomes very ill and can't be cured, we place the highest importance and focus on pain management and patient comfort. We want to ensure our patients are as comfortable as possible in their final days, so they can spend as much quality time with their families as possible.

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What Can I Expect?

When a client has made the hardest of decisions—that quality of life is gone for their beloved pet, and it is time to say goodbye—it is natural to be concerned and unsure of what will happen next. We want to assure our clients that we will guide them every step of the way. On the day of a pet's euthanasia, the financial side of the process is taken care of beforehand so that there is no need to deal with anything else afterward because we know owners will be grieving and may want to leave discreetly. Owners who want to be present during the procedure are then taken into a quiet, private room with a comfortable area to sit with their dear ones. Owners can then be given some time alone with their pet if desired, to say the things they want to say. After the pet's owner signals they are ready to start, a technician will place an IV catheter in one leg for the doctor to deliver the medication. The doctor will explain the physical process of euthanasia and what to expect, to prepare the owner. The doctor may administer a heavy sedative first to completely calm the pet, so there is no fear. Then, at the owner's signal, the euthanasia solution is given. We truly understand that this is a time of grieving, and one never knows how one will react to the experience. We promise to be there for owners compassionately and understand their pain—we love our patients and grieve along with their families. After the euthanasia is over, if owners need some time alone with their pet or with a comforting staff member before heading home, they will be able to spend as long as they need.

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For care of the body, we have several options, just like for people. Some owners want to bury their pet's remains in a special place, and they take the body with them. Some owners want to have their pet cremated and keep the ashes, and for that, we work with Pet Angel Memorial Center. Pet Angel offers many options for your pet's final care including a variety of cremation packages as well as custom urns. Their website offers both pre-planning and aftercare resources to care for your pet.

Please visit our End-of-Life Resources Page for additional resources if you're struggling with making the decision or for support resources.

Rainbow Bridge

There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the rainbow bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the rainbow bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.


When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. The old and frail animals are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. They frolic and romp all day with one another.

 The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing. They each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.


They run and play together, until the day comes when one of them suddenly stops playing and looks off into the distance. The nose twitches. The ears are up. The bright eyes are intent. The eager body quivers. Suddenly this one runs from the group, faster and faster, leaping and flying over the tall green grass.


You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you take him or her in your arms and embrace, clinging together in joyous reunion. Happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your cherished pet, so long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart.

And with your pet beside you once again, you cross the rainbow bridge together.


~Author Unknown

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