Old dog

It’s never easy to let our beloved pets go, and one of the most difficult decisions pet owners face is when is the appropriate time to put an aging or ailing pet down.

“When the quality of your pet’s life appears to be deteriorating, it’s time,” said Dr. Bob Linett, licensed veterinarian and Peaceful Pet Passing owner.

After practicing veterinary medicine for 45 years, including building 16 low-cost veterinary clinics and hospitals for pet parents, Linett thought he was ready for retirement.

The licensed veterinarian and his wife Anna, who is a nurse, moved into Trilogy at the Vineyards in Brentwood and instead of slowing down, his passion for helping animals was ignited.

“I just couldn’t get over my insatiable desire to help animals in need,” said Linett.

He began working a few days a month at a non-profit spay and neuter clinic and realized he could be doing more.

“During the past two years I came across several people, mostly seniors, who expressed their concern that there was not a local veterinarian that would come to their home when the time came for their pets to pass,” said Linett. “This, along with my desire to help pets pass peacefully, was my primary reason for starting Peaceful Pet Passing.”

Peaceful Pet Passing provides in-home pet euthanasia for aging pets or those with debilitating illnesses, in the comfort of people’s homes, creating an experience that is not only easier for pets, but also for their owners.

“The atmosphere is always very peaceful and calm in the privacy of their own homes, resulting in pets being very peaceful and calm as well,” said Linett. “Usually the aged or ill pet will be in their pet bed or on the couch when I arrive, and that is where they tend to remain throughout the visit.”

This also allows pet parents to have family and friends that their pets know and love with them as well.

“The added support is very comforting for the pet parents,” said Linett.

According to Linett, some symptoms that can help pet parents make this decision include if your pet is less responsive to things they normally enjoy doing; they cannot get up without help or have difficulty rising; express discomfort when moving or laying down; are exhibiting respiratory distress such as coughing, wheezing or heavy breathing and exhibit urinary or fecal incontinence. Some pets also act confused, disoriented and begin pacing or seizing. Others have changes in their eating patterns.

“Ailing pets do not need to exhibit every one of these symptoms to be determined to have a poor quality of life,” said Linett.

There may be varying degrees of the symptoms, and it is up to each pet parent to determine how much of their pet’s quality of life is being affected, as well as how much of their own quality of life is being affected to care for their aging or ill pet.

The process itself is simple and painless for pets. After Linett arrives at a home, he greets the pet and performs a physical exam. If the family makes the final decision to euthanize, they complete paperwork and spend some time saying their goodbyes.

A sedative is administered before an injection of a concentrated barbiturate solution that, within seconds, allows pets to pass very peacefully.

Afterwards, pet parents can opt to have Linett remove their pet and help them with arrangements for cremation, or the pet can remain with their family, who will make their own arrangements for burial or cremation.

From start to finish, the entire process is designed to make the grief over losing your pet easier.

Brentwood resident Donna Trenkwalder recently had her golden retriever Russell euthanized in her family home.

Russell, who was adopted from a rescue facility when he was five-years-old, loved chasing squirrels, playing ball, going on walks and getting belly rubs on a daily basis, until his legs unexpectedly started getting weaker by the day.

When he started refusing food and needed help to use the restroom, the Trenkwalders knew it was time to say goodbye to their beloved pet. They turned to Peaceful Pet Passing.

“It truly made all the difference knowing Russell was comfortable at home as opposed to a 40-minute drive to our regular vet,” said Trenkwalder. “I am a firm believer that what Bob and Anna did for us will always remind us of how peaceful our last day was with Russ. It was amazing.”

For more information about Peaceful Pet Passing, visit www.peacefulpetpassing.org or call 925-384-2210.