Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough
Saying goodbye in comfort
For many New Zealanders, family pets are dearly loved members of the wha¯ nau.
So, when the time comes to end the suffering of an old, sick, or injured companion, Blenheim vet Dr Charlotte PattersonGreen said having the opportunity to euthanise a beloved pet in the comfort of their home, and often in their owner’s arms, greatly reduced the stress involved for both animal and owner.
It was with this in mind that during the pandemic, and the various levels of lockdowns, Patterson-Green decided to start her At-Home Euthanasia service after social distancing restrictions meant owners were unable to accompany their pets to the vets and ultimately miss their final moments.
‘‘During Covid, if people weren’t vaccinated, some clinics in Blenheim were not allowing unvaccinated people to go into a euthanasia appointment with their animal, so they were having to just drop their animal off at the door and say goodbye and not be with them during that time.
‘‘So, when I found that out I thought I could do the service and be there for their animal at home,’’ she said.
Patterson-Green said her other work in equine (horse) dentistry saw her travelling to remote farms, far away from urban clinics.
‘‘I was often being asked if I could euthanise horses, but also smaller animals as well, like cats and dogs and goats, and rabbits, everything you could imagine, because they just didn’t feel comfortable taking them into the clinic. And they knew that their animals were a lot happier, and relaxed and less stressed at home, so I felt there was a need for the service and Marlborough didn’t really have someone that did that exclusively.’’
Patterson-Green said the athome procedure was straightforward, with animals and owners being a lot more relaxed. Some clients liked to create their own environment with soft light, candles and cushions.
‘‘Once at the home I will administer a sedative under the skin to cause deep sedation followed by an injection to end their life, often while in the loving embrace of their owner. The process is without pain and stress,’’ Patterson-Green said.
Blenheim woman Nicole Battersby said she’d had to have three of her ageing pets euthanised in recent years, and said the at-home approach saved her animals a lot of unnecessary trauma and pain in their final hours.
‘‘We’ve had a cat and two dogs put down through Charlotte, and it’s quite nice because the cats, especially, don’t like going in the car or anything like that, so it’s really nice for them.
‘‘Charlotte came in and put him down in the garage, because he hung out in the garage quite a lot, and felt comfortable there. It was good, it was a lot easier.’’
‘‘It did make a big difference being able to do it at home. One of our dogs was really old, and the other one, his back end had gone, and he couldn’t really walk any more.
‘‘We had to lift him into the car if we wanted to take them anywhere, so it was just more convenient for Charlotte to come to us, with the situation we were in with the animals, and it was nice not to have to move them around,’’ she said.
Anyone wanting more information can contact Charlotte Patterson-Green on 021 467 738, or email email@example.com