General Office Information

Office Hours

Graceful Departure Pet Center - By appointment only, Monday through Saturday, 8 am - 5 pm, except holidays. Messages are checked frequently on Sundays between 8 am and 5 pm.

Home Euthanasia and Hospice appointment times are generally scheduled between 9 am and 3 pm, occasional after-hour appointments are available. Please call for availability.

For most appointments, scheduling a day or two in advance is sufficient; same day appointments are often available.

How to Reach Me

Phone: 619-741-5366
For best service after hours, please leave a message with the answering service and we'll call you back as soon as possible the next business day.

My answering service can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


E-mail: kfreevet@gmail.com


Payments accepted are cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

We offer a wide selection of traditional and bio-degradable/Eco-friendly urns; scatter tubes; Memory Glass orbs, pendants and touchstones; Harp Enrichment Therapy CD's; Essential Oils and Clay Paws decorations. Please click on the Products tab at GracefulDeparture.com for more information or call our office at 619-741-5366. To order DoTerra Oils directly, please visit MyDoterra.com/GDPC.

I offer clay paw prints, another way to memorialize your pet. The product is a soft modeling compound that I knead and place into a circular mold.

When I come to your home for an euthanasia appointment, when your pet is deeply sedated and unaware, I take an imprint of his/her paw into the clay as a memorial. Included are baking instructions and you're welcome to decorate the clay either before or after baking. Graceful Departure Pet Center is also able to provide clay paw prints (included free with Premier Aquamation) which we will bake for you.

If you are requesting more than one paw print, please let me know when you make the house call appointment so I can be sure I have enough on hand.

The Euthanasia Procedure

Whether you use the Comfort Room in my clinic or when I arrive at your home, I will meet your pet and give them have a few minutes to adjust to me being there. This puts them at ease and gives them the opportunity to relax. I will have you sign a consent form and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Next, I will administer a sedative/pain killer injection in your pet’s muscle. Within a couple of minutes, any pain or discomfort that your pet is feeling should subside and about five minutes later, he/she should drift into a very deep sleep. If you request a clay paw print, I will take care of it during this time.

When your pet is completely sedated, I will give a second injection, which is an overdose of an anesthetic agent. This will cause the heart and breathing to decrease until they stop and your pet will pass away. This will also take about five minutes. The entire appointment generally lasts between 30 and 45 minutes.

Hospice Consultation

A hospice consultation runs about 45 - 60 minutes long. Whether you use the Comfort Room in my clinic or when I arrive at your home, I will meet you and your pet and offer options to you regarding quality of life, palliative care and pain management strategies. We can also discuss my euthanasia protocol. A brief physical examination of your pet is performed and if indicated, medications may be prescribed. Call, e-mail or click on the Fees tab for pricing information. There may be additional fees for medication.

Alkaline Hydrolysis Process

I am so excited to offer Alkaline Hydrolysis aftercare services, the first of its kind in San Diego County! Only available at Graceful Departure Pet Center!

A respectful and dignified option, Alkaline Hydrolysis, also called Aquamation, is a gentle, environmentally friendly alternative to flame based cremation. Your pet is gently placed in a cradle inside the AH unit. Water and a small amount of alkali are added to gently break down the tissues - which are rinsed away, leaving the bone "ash" behind. This process is similar to the natural decomposition process used in nature. Slower than fire based cremation, it is also more gentle. Because of this, approximately 20% more ash remains to be given back to the owner. The ash is lighter in color because it is not discolored by carbon contaminants that are common with fire based cremation.

Since alkaline hydrolysis produces no significant gaseous emissions, it is a more responsible choice even compared to burial which produces methane gas.

Alkaline hydrolysis has no greenhouse gas emissions, has 1/10th the carbon footprint of fire based cremation, and uses a fraction of the energy used by flame based cremation. It is a more ecologically friendly, "green" process that is more gentle and cleaner than traditional cremation or burial.

If you would like to watch my video which explains the process in more detail, please click on the picture below:




Aftercare Options

There are four options for aftercare: Alkaline Hydrolysis, cremation, burial or disposal (rendering - offered through animal shelters and some veterinarians.)

If I come to your home for an euthanasia appointment, I can help with the aftercare, if you desire, or you can handle making arrangements on your own. If you'd like me to help, after your pet passes away, I gently wrap him/her in a blanket or sheet for privacy and transport them back to the Graceful Departure Pet Center. For medium to large dogs, I have a gurney. Having someone to help me, if possible, with the transfer would be helpful.

If your pet passes away at home or in a veterinary clinic, you can bring them into Graceful Departure Pet Center yourself (please call first, 619-741-5366, to make sure someone is here to assist you) or have your veterinarian make the arrangements for you. If you want the alkaline hydrolysis process instead of traditional cremation, please tell your veterinary hospital to contact Graceful Departure Pet Center for aftercare. Please also inform us so we can be sure to follow up with your veterinarian. If you'd like Graceful Departure Pet Center to pick up from your home and make the arrrangements for you, we would be happy to help. We gently wrap him/her in a blanket or sheet for privacy and transport them back to the Graceful Departure Pet Center. For medium to large dogs, we have a gurney. Having someone to help, if possible, with the transfer would be helpful. We charge $50-$75, depending on your zip code, for home pick up within most of San Diego County. Please use our fee calculator for an exact quote. Please call Graceful Departure Pet Center, 619-741-5366, to schedule.

I offer two types of alkaline hydrolysis (or Aquamation) aftercare: communal or private. Communal means your pet's ashes are combined with other pet's ashes and the ashes are scattered for you in a garden setting. Private means your pet is completely separate from other pets and you receive just your pet's ashes back. There are two levels of Private Aquamation: Premier or Basic. With our Premier Package, you will receive the ashes back in a nice bamboo urn along with a Clay Paw Print and clipping of your pet's fur. Alternate urns are available, if desired, and we have a wide selection of bio-degradable, environmentally friendly urn options. If you prefer the Basic Package, your pet's ashes will be placed in a beautiful scattering tube of your choice.

If you prefer traditional, flame-based cremation for your pet, we would be happy to help you with those arrangements as well. If I performed the euthanasia at your home, I can transport your pet back to Graceful Departure Pet Center or you can bring your pet to Graceful Departure Pet Center. We will make the arrangements with Sorrento Valley Pet Cemetery or your preferred pet crematorium.

Some people choose to bury their pet. If this is your choice, make sure you bury away from any wells and the grave should be at least 4 feet deep, so another animal doesn't dig him or her up.

Some people prefer to handle planning the burial or cremation on their own by contacting a pet cemetery or crematorium. The crematorium can pick up from your home, you can take your pet there, or to our Center and we will make the arrangements for you.

Fees vary depending on the weight of your pet and which aftercare options you choose. See the Fees Tab under the Information and Fees page on this website for a fee calculator. For additional urn options, products and services see www.gracefuldeparture.com.

Fees

Fees for home euthanasia vary depending on the zip code where the euthanasia will be performed.

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