Animal Update: End Of Life Decisions For Your Pet

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Making end-of-life decisions for your pet – a difficult decision for many pet guardians these days.

Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, Co-President of the San Francisco SPCA, said the cost of end-of- life care can play a major role in decisions being made.

“There’s been so many great advances in veterinary medicine that has allowed us to treat and extend the life of pets. Unfortunately, many of these treatments come at a cost, both financially and stress on the animal,” Scarlett said. “So it’s caused guardians to have to make very complicated decisions about their pets.”

The loss of a pet is always extremely difficult and it can be a very sensitive topic to start with. And unfortunately, many pet owners will someday be faced with the tough decision of whether or not to put a pet to sleep.

“Have a good relationship with your veterinarian,” Dr. Scarlett suggests for those facing this tough decision. “Find a veterinarian that you trust and respect to help you through this decision process. Also, you know your pet better than anyone else on earth. You also know your financial considerations better than anyone else. Use the tool of your veterinarian and your friends and family to help you make those decisions.”

Scarlett said on the first Tuesday of every month, the SPCA has a pet law support group, where pet guardians can share their experiences with other guardians who are going through the same process or have recently lost their pets.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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