GREEN BAY, WI (WFRV) – Judy Kloehn said everybody loved her cat, Cinnamon. “He was a sweetheart,” she tells Local 5 News. ” If something was wrong, he’d sit on your lap and purr.”
He was a reliable companion for 15 years.
But, just this past December something wasn’t quite right.
“He was down to skin and bones and he wasn’t looking good,” recalls Kloehn. “He was laying there, not moving.”
Judy knew the end of life was near.
But she couldn’t reach her regular veterinarian.
So, she turned to licensed vet Kate Kornowski who recently brought the services of the company called “Lap of Love” to Northeast Wisconsin.
“With natural passing, you wish they would be able to pass in their sleep comfortably,” says Kornowski. “But, that’s not always the case.”
Kornowski says providing this service is part of fulfilling the mission of vets to prevent any future pain.
“I come into the home,” explains Kornowski. “Families tell me about what’s going on with their pets. Once they’re comfortable I walk them through the two-step process.”
First, there is a powerful pain medication with a sedative and then the final or second shot that puts the pet to sleep.
“It was a peaceful death,” insists Kloehn. “He was in my lap and I got to hold him. My son was also there and was petting him. It was very comforting.”
Dr. Kornowki says in-home euthanasia is an important option because of pandemic-related closures and restrictions at animal clinics everywhere.
“Some practices, because of Covid, are trying to maintain social distancing,” added Kornowski. “It’s been tougher with euthanasia and doing it safely for family and staff.”
Lap of Love charges $340 dollars for in-home euthanasia. That includes the vet’s assessment and consultation with the family before the actual procedure.
There’s the additional cost of cremation which starts at $295 for private. You get the ashes back.
Communal cremation can start at around $190 and Lap of Love then scatters the ashes on local, private farmland.
“It’s serene and peaceful,” says Kornowski.
The Wisconsin Humane Society doesn’t have an official stance on in-home euthanasia, only that you use a licensed veterinarian.
Their euthanasia services cost about 100 fewer dollars.
You cannot be with your pet, which Schaina Allen of the Humane Society says, some may prefer.
“For whatever reason, if you can’t emotionally be there to see your pet pass away, this is a good, affordable option where the pet still gets that compassionate care.”
Pet insurance may pick up some euthanasia costs.
Policies tend to require age minimums and vet certification confirming there’s a need for the procedure.
Common exclusions are cremation and burial.
Many times buying the services in bulk, instead of separately can also save money.
Pet owners, vets, and animal welfare advocates agree that there are many services out there and it’s important for families to do their research, discuss, and have a decision before they are in the throes of grief.
Kloehn says it all came down to doing right by Cinnamon. A pet she considers to be a family member.
“He was such a good boy,” she fondly recalls.
In-home pet euthanasia was a way to mark an invaluable relationship.
It was a sad, yet healing experience that allowed her to live with loss and love again.