COVID & Other Respiratory Diseases - August 2023
When we get to your house, we ask that you meet us outside to handle paperwork and discuss logistics. If the euthanasia will occur inside the home, we ask that you wear a mask if: more than 6 people are present, anyone has been sick or is not feeling well or you think you could pass along any type of illness (not just covid). If anyone at your house is immunocompromised or you prefer to wear masks, please let us know.
At least once a week, we visit a home with an immunocompromised individual (someone on chemotherapy, newborn baby, etc).
If Dr. Atkins gets sick then she is unable to provide this service. We do our best to stay healthy so we can continue to provide service to pet families.
When we grieve, we release a lot of respiratory particles - making this type of work more at-risk than typical day-to-day activities.
If anyone in the home is sick, please let us know this during the initial phone conversation.
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.
Cats are especially good at hiding their pain. This cat grimace scale may be helpful in assessing if your cat is in pain.
Dr. Shea Cox has developed additional resources for evaluation pain in dogs and cats - see below.
is a video that has helped many families come to a consensus. When a family member is struggling with a euthanasia decision, we recommend watching this video.
Q: It is time to start pre-planning. What do I do next?
A: It is always best to get in touch with us before things become critical. We find pet parents
are often unaware of how fast a sick pet's condition can change from doing poorly to being critical.
If you are not ready to book an appointment:
*You can give us a call and we can go ahead and get all of your information in our system,
that way when it is time it will be easier.
* You can fill out this information form and we can give you a call.
If you are ready to book an appointment:
*You can give us a call (413-327-5077)
* You can fill out the information form (above) and we can give you a call
* You can book on-line (see the Schedule Online tab)
This is the prepare link that we send to families to help prepare for our visit.
You may find this information helpful to see ahead of time.
Q: What if Paws Finding Peace is not available?
A: Paws Finding Peace is not available at all times.
You can visit this site to find providers of at-home euthanasia: inhomepeteuthanasia.com. For assistance after hours visit Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Clinic (VESH) in South Deerfield, MA or
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 inhomepeteuthanasia.com to help find a mobile end-of-life veterinarian.
Q: How much notice does Paws Finding Peace need?
A: It is best to schedule 2-3 day ahead of time when able. We try to accommodate same day appointments if you call between 8:30-9:30am (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 Chicopee, 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 or internet. You can make checks out to "Paws Finding Peace".
Q: We are considering a home burial. How do we safely perform a home burial?
A: When considering a home burial, it is very important to make sure that the drugs that are used to perform humane euthanasia do not negatively impact the environment or other animals. Please review this document Burying a Pet - Guidelines, to make sure your family is able to safely bury your beloved companion.
Q: What happens if my pet passes at home?
A: Here is information on what to do if your pet passes at home.
Q: I am unsure how to navigate this process with my other pets and/or my children?
A: We have a good bit of experience helping to navigate how and when to include other pets and/or children and will help you work through your questions when we talk on the phone.
If you child has previous trauma and has a therapist, we recommend talking ahead of time to their therapist on what they may need to feel supported.
This is the information on our prepare link regarding other pets.
This is the information on our prepare link regarding children.
We also created this book list for children.