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COVID 19 update - July 2021

I (Dr. Atkins) am so thankful to be vaccinated.  Luckily, most of the families I have been visiting over the past few weeks have been vaccinated as well.  We still need to take precautions:  there is so much we still do not know about this virus; I often visit families who are immunocompromised; and during my visit you will be grieving and likely releasing a lot of respiratory particles.  When I get to your house, I ask that you meet me outside (wearing a mask) to handle paperwork and discuss logistics.  After we handle paperwork, you can let me know who is/is not vaccinated at your house and we can determine if masks should stay on or off.   If it is nice outside, you may opt to be outside if you have a dog.  If you are sick or have been exposed to someone who is sick, please make this very clear during our initial phone conversation.  I hope that we all continue to stay safe and healthy.  


Euthanasia during the best of times is very difficult, right now is it even more difficult to say good bye.

Please see our Grief Resources webpage to help navigate this process.   

Q:  How do I know when it is the right time for euthanasia?

A:  If you are asking this question, you are likely concerned about your pet's quality of life.  You may choose to have a quality of life consult with your vet (via in-clinic appointment or using a telemedicine option).  It is very natural to struggle with the euthanasia decision.  Feelings of doubt and anxiety are usually part of the grief process 

Below is a link to a quality of life scale developed by The Ohio State Veterinary Medical Center - this may be helpful in evaluating your companion's quality of life. 

Quality of Life Scale

Cats are especially good at hiding their pain.  This cat grimace scale may be helpful in accessing if your cat is in pain.  

Dr. Shea Cox has developed additional resources for evaluation pain in dogs and cats - see below.

BEAP Pain Scale for Dogs

BEAP Pain Scale for Cats

Q:  What if Paws Finding Peace is not available?

A:  Paws Finding Peace is not available at all times.  Other local veterinarians who provide at-home euthanasia can be found at: For assistance after hours visit Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Clinic (VESH)  in South Deerfield, MA  or  

New England Veterinary Center & Cancer Care (NEVCCC) in Windsor, CT.

Q:  What areas does Paws Finding Peace cover?

A:  Dr. Atkins is licensed in Massachusetts and Connecticut.  This is our travel map, please visit the page entitled "at-home euthanasia" for more information regarding our service area and travel fees.   If you live outside our travel area, you can search to help find a mobile end-of-life veterinarian. 

Q:  How much notice does Paws Finding Peace need? 

A:  We are usually able to accommodate same day appointments if you call between 8-9am (weekdays).  It is always best not to wait until a pet is in critical condition to call and discuss euthanasia.  

There is a saying in end-of-life care, "it is better to euthanize 3 days too early than 3 minutes to late".  

Q:  Is end-of-life care covered by pet insurance?

A:  Some insurance policies do cover end-of-life care, you will need to check the details of your plan.  Upon request, PFP will email you a receipt to submit to the insurance company.  PFP is always willing to complete any paperwork needed for pet insurance.  

Q:  Does the Paws Finding Peace caller ID say "Lee, MA"?

A:  Yes, the caller ID may say "Lee, MA".  However, we are based in Holyoke, MA.  

Q:  What types of payment do you accept?

A:  We accept cash, personal check or credit card.  I have a square reader that connects using my phone.  

You can make checks out to "Paws Finding Peace".