6770 Onondaga Lake Parkway

Liverpool, NY, 13088

Monday - Friday 7:30am-8:00pm

Saturday 7:30am-2:00pm

Sunday Closed

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Euthanasia is considered when your pet’s quality of life is severely compromised.

Euthanasia occurs following natural geriatric decline, to end suffering due to accident, illness or injury or due to aggressive behavior. Pet owners should not feel ashamed by their choice.


How will I know when it’s time?  

The decision to end a pet’s suffering through euthanasia is one of life’s most difficult decisions and deciding when is the right time to euthanize is up to you.

Your veterinarian will help you to understand the seriousness of your pet’s condition, but the decision to euthanize is ultimately yours.  You know your pet best.  Your familiarity with their personality and unique characteristics enables you to speak for them in their final time of need. Focus on what is best for your pet’s comfort and for your peace of mind.

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Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do the bad days outnumber the good days?  (If you are unsure how to measure day-to-day quality of life, speak with your veterinarian.)

  • Are there humane veterinary treatments available that may provide a chance for cure or comfort?

  • Do I have the financial and emotional resources to handle long-term medical care or provide hospice care if it is required?

  • Does the pain of living outweigh the pleasure of life?

  • Has your pet stopped eating or drinking?

  • Is your pet unable to sleep comfortably?

  • Is your pet in chronic discomfort that is not alleviated by medication?

  • Is your pet unaware, uninterested or withdrawn from their environment or does your pet still seek interaction with other pets and family members?

  • What is the prognosis of the illness?

  • What is my personal bottom line - what am I unable to tolerate and/or live with?


For after hours emergencies call:

Veterinary Emergency and

Critical Care Center


Veterinary Medical Center


ASPCA Poison Control


Should I be with my pet during the euthanasia process?  

Every owner is different and it is a personal decision whether or not to be with your pet.  You may stay for the final goodbye and be with your pet during the procedure.  Details of what to expect from the euthanasia process are below. Rest assured that if you choose not to stay, a staff member will be holding your pet during the procedure and during their final moments of life.


Should my children be with my pet?  

Deciding who should attend the final moments with your pet is up to the family. Every child and every family member will respond differently to dealing with the loss of a truly special friend. If you choose not to include your children in the procedure, consider holding a memorial in which they share a favorite memory of their beloved pet.  

Memorial Keepsake:

The hospital will offer a clay pawprint at no charge.

The euthanasia process, what to expect:  

The veterinarian’s role is to help your pet depart this world with dignity and compassion.  Euthanasia is a rapid, humane medical procedure to mercifully end a pet’s life.  

In order to administer the solution, the veterinarian must gain entry into the pet’s vein.  A licensed veterinary technician will bring your pet to the treatment area of the hospital to place an IV catheter in your pet’s leg and will then bring your pet to you in the exam room if you choose to be present. Placement of an IV catheter allows the veterinarian to administer the euthanasia solution more efficiently and ensures the process is as smooth as possible for you and your pet.

Once the veterinarian has answered all of your questions and when you are ready, your pet will receive an injection of a sodium pentobarbital and phenytoin sodium euthanasia agent (essentially an overdose of anesthesia) that quickly and painlessly lowers the respiration and heart rate until both the brain and the heart cease to operate.

The process only takes a few minutes, sometimes less, and your pet will lapse into what appears to be a deep sleep.  During the process you may see body reflexes occurring such as muscles relaxing indicated by flickers and twitches, deep exhalation or gasping, bladder and bowel release and your pet’s eyes will not close. When these external reactions occur, your pet is not suffering.  Most of these are due to residual electrical activity and your pet is not experiencing any discomfort.

You may choose to spend some time with your pet following the procedure.  We do recommend that you have someone with you for emotional support and to drive you home following the procedure.  

What happens to my pet following euthanasia?

We offer several choices for the aftercare of your pet:

Individual cremation:

Your pet’s remains will be picked up here at the hospital and transported to a facility where they will be individually cremated and the ashes are returned to Liverpool Village Animal hospital.  We will contact you when they are ready for pickup.

Communal Cremation:

Your pet’s remains will be picked up here at the hospital and transported to a facility where they will be carefully cremated.

Home Burial:

You may take your pet’s body with you and bury your pet on your private property. Check with your municipal government to see if this is permitted in your town.

Personal Option:

You may take your pet’s body with you for an alternate aftercare of your choice, such as burial in a pet cemetery.

Go to Pet Partners to access resources on Pet Loss & Bereavement:


Excerpt from “Healing After the Loss of Your Pet” by Dr. Linda Harper:

Why is the loss of a pet so heartbreaking?

Relationships with our pets are unique and special.  They offer us unconditional love and are always there for us.

Our pets see us through various transitions in our lives and are often the one constant through changing times.

We might share more with our pets - true feelings and moods - than with anyone else. Losing this intimacy leaves a large gap when the pet is gone.

They bring out the best in us.  We like who we are when we are with them.

Our pets become part of our identity.  To lose them feels like we’ve lost part of ourselves.

They give us a sense of purpose because they depend on us.

They fill our basic need for physical touch and affection.

The loss of a pet can be even more difficult when friends, family and co-workers just don’t seem to understand.

Pet Loss Support Hotline:

Cornell: 1-607-253-3932  (6pm - 9pm EST)

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