What Options Exist for Pet Euthanasia in Your Area?

Please consider participating in this informal survey about euthanasia options and costs in your area:

  • What does your vet charge to euthanize a pet?  If that fee does not include disposal of remains, what is the fee for that?
  • Does your local shelter offer euthanasia of owned pets who are medically hopeless and suffering?  If so, what fee do they charge for that service?
  • When answering, please include the following specifics:  type of pet (e.g. “dog under 50 pounds”), city or county and state.

I am in Kershaw Co, SC.  My vet charges $35 to euthanize a small dog.  I don’t know what the fees are for disposal of remains as we bury our pets at home.  This includes a sedative injection which she administers first.  It also includes the vet remaining with the owner and the dog for as long as necessary to make absolutely certain the dog is deceased.  My vet is very caring and never wants any of her clients to have their euthanized pet “come back to life” after leaving the clinic.  With Graham, she only felt the need to stay a few minutes after verifying death but with Emily, because she was running primarily on adrenaline, she stayed probably half an hour after verifying death.  The emergency clinic charges about $125 to euthanize a large dog (again euthanasia only, not disposal of remains).  They place a catheter and administer a sedative before the euth injection.  My local shelter does not offer euthanasia services to the public.  I don’t know what options might be available to someone locally who has a medically hopeless and suffering pet and can not afford a private vet visit.

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35 Comments

  1. We had to euthanize a dog about a year ago. I think it was about $85 for the euthanasia, and then about $200 for the cremation (we paid more for the solor cremation so we could get back the ashes). Our shelter offers euthanasia to the public for a small fee (I think $25) and this includes cremation. I’m very glad that we offer this as a public service because the fees can be very prohibitive for low-income families who are already dealing with the sadness of the loss of life of a pet and I think it’s an important service for our community and it acutally bugs me that there are some city shelters who do not offer this because they don’t want it to hurt their live release numbers.

    Reply
    • Marie-Odile Fortier

       /  December 13, 2012

      If it’s a service to the community, like spay/neuter, why would a shelter include those pets in their numbers? These owned pets were not part of the shelter intake like lost pets; they were brought in for euthanasia requested by the family, not transferred to the care of the shelter.

      Reply
      • I haven’t heard of a shelter refusing to offer the service due to impacting their live release rate. I agree with you that it would be inappropriate to count those animals as impounds b/c they are part of a community service like s/n, as you say. My own local shelter simply refuses to offer the service, not b/c they are concerned about their live release rate, which they already falsely report when in fact they are killing roughly 3 out of 4 pets, but just because. Another issue that I think is related is that some shelters, like MAS for example, offer to kill owned pets but they can be healthy or treatable. Basically they will kill any pet whose owner requests it and can pay. I don’t consider that a “service” myself.

      • mikken

         /  December 13, 2012

        One wonders how MAS verifies that the person requesting the killing of a healthy animal is indeed the owner?

      • I (unfortunately) have vast experience with euthanasia. Our Fairbanks North Star Borough Animal Control counts bodies. They offer free euthanasia (you must sign over the animal) and free cremation (they ask you to sign over the body, but they will cremate it, even if you don’t.) I heard a public radio story several years ago that quoted 6,000 animals, and I’ve purchased (via FOIA requests) the euthanasia logs for the past five years, and knew the number was nearly double their *normal* quoted figure. When I inquired (the last manager, not the current one) told me that the 6,000 included bodies left, or picked up, and all owner requested euthanasia. Hint: our Animal Control deals with more dead animals than live…sigh.
        They included those numbers to make it sound like they are really busy. And they ARE!!! Most of the euthanasia done at Animal Control is owner requested. Many of the animals are old or sick. Some of them have behavior problems. I don’t know if current management tries to talk people out of having their healthy/treatable pet killed, but I doubt it. If it is owner requested, it doesn’t *count* on their statistics.

        Oh, just to complete the survey:
        My vet euthanizes for free, but it has to be euthanasia, not a convenience killing. Unless you are one of her regular clients, you must make an appointment. If she knows you and/or the animal she sometimes makes house calls. (As do several other area vets.) Animal Control no longer allows the public to be there (you must drop off your animal and leave and they’ll take it into a back room and kill it for you….don’t know if you can wait in the parking lot for them to bring you a dead body, I’ve never asked.)
        Other vet clinics charge anywhere from $120 – $500 to euthanize an animal. Some donate a portion in your pet’s name to the local animal non-profit of your choice. Some include cremation. Individual cremation costs more. A friend had a dog and a bird cremated together, and they charge a $15 transportation fee for EACH animal! (Bird and dog were provided in the same box, and ashes were requested returned together.)

        The After Hours Emergency Veterinary Clinic (AHEVC) refused to euthanize an animal for another friend. He forgot his wallet, his dog had bloat, he couldn’t afford the $1800 they quoted him for middle of the night surgery, and when he asked them to kill the dog and he’d come back with the $300 fee they refused. He had to leave his dog with them, in pain, drive 40 miles to get money, and come back and pay before they would euthanize his dog.

        I ended up taking two of my aged dogs to AHEVC this summer (why do old dogs always fail on weekends or late at night?) Each cost me around $200 to have euthanized. One I brought home and buried. One my hubby and I delivered to Animal Control and left in the bin (with paperwork!) to be cremated.

        I know of other vet clinics that recommend killing rather than treatment. Breaks my heart, but I think it really is a financial move rather than what is best for the animal. (They know people can’t pay $2500+ to fix the problem, but the animal is suffering and they can earn a quick $250 by killing it.)

        Oh, and there are three crematoriums in our community that are used for animals. One is owned by Animal Control and they charge vet offices by the pound to dispose of dead animals. The other two are owned by vet clinics, and again, they charge by the pound to cremate animals for other clinics. One of them charges the public by the pound as well. I’ve never inquired from the other.

        It cost $400+ to have a #110 great dane cremated and have the ashes returned.
        It cost $200+ to have a #75 sled dog cremated and I didn’t ask for the ashes back.
        Both dogs were euthanized by my vet and I transported their dead body directly to the crematorium at home of another veterinarian.
        I think the beagle/bird combo cost more than $350…but that included transportation! (And return of the ashes.)

        Oh, and this is in Alaska.

      • Shirley, a few weeks ago I heard a Shelter Manager brag about her 99% live release rate and that it’s so important to them that they turned someone away. I don’t know if the animal was truly in need of euthanasia or not, but I was appalled by her commentary.

      • If they turned away someone requesting euthanasia for a healthy/treatable pet, I am thankful – although I hope they offered the person some alternative options since he was apparently either no longer wanted or possibly the owners were in need of some education or other assistance. If they turned away someone requesting euthanasia for a pet who was medically hopeless and suffering because they thought they would have to count the pet as an impound and didn’t want the euthanasia to diminish their live release rate, that is unacceptable.

  2. Honestly, I can’t remember the finite details. The last time I had to have a dog euthanized was over 8 years ago, but I dealt with a specialist (Anne Arundel Vet Emergency Specialist – I can’t speak highly enough of them for locations in Maryland).

    They were amazing – coming to my home because they knew my dog could not walk and was utterly terrified of going to the vets in the first place. He went peacefully in my arms.

    I THINK it was about $180 and it included the house visit, the euthanasia, the removal and cremation.

    http://www.aavec.com/

    Reply
    • I understand very well. I can’t for sure remember exact figures either and I just had two pets euthanized within the last month! I never take the receipts. I don’t like to look at them. But I posted what I believe are the right figures to the best of my recollection.

      Reply
  3. Grahund

     /  December 13, 2012

    Sort of off topic, but I’ve needed to talk about this for a long time. We have a “pet euthanasia service” near by. It’s called Petz Eternal Rest and is in Walnut Creek, CA. I misspelled the name and didn’t post the url because I can’t bring myself to give them even that much support. All they do is euthanize pets. They have no other services so far as I know. It’s been in business for several years so somehow they are making money.

    I’m curious what others think. Maybe there is a legitimate need for such a service that I’m not aware of. If so, I’d like to learn about it. Personally, I hate the place. I drive by it once a week at least and all it does is bring up painful memories. The sign on the street is small and discrete but I know it’s there and I see it every time.

    I don’t know what euthanasia is in our area. The only dog I have euthanized here, at my local vet, also had an expensive necropsy. I’m sure it’s expensive. Everything else is.

    Reply
    • I wonder if they are offering low cost services to fill a need in the area?

      Reply
      • Grahund

         /  December 13, 2012

        There’s nothing low cost in Walnut Creek, most especially the housing. The business is located in a high income area. The web site makes it sound like a high-end luxury service.

      • Can you call and ask what they charge? I am curious!

      • Grahund

         /  December 13, 2012

        Sorry. I know it is stupid, but I don’t think that is something I can do. They are easy to find on the internet. Replace the ‘z’ with an ‘s’.

    • Daniela

       /  December 13, 2012

      I got curious so I googled it. I can see exactly how they are making money – and it isn’t by euthanizing pets that are inconvenient for their owners. They are cashing in on pets being an integral part of the family. They offer private home like rooms for the procedure, consultations with a vet for discussions on how to know when it is time, consultations for the best way to preceed and the ability to hold a pet memorial service. I am going to assume that none of that is cheap.

      I don’t know if they euthanize for convenience but their website is definitely geared towards heartbroken families making a tough decision.

      Reply
      • Grahund

         /  December 13, 2012

        Maybe I’ve always had good relations with my vet, but I can’t imagine going to a stranger for that service. When I most recently euthanized a dog, my vet was crying almost as much as my wife and I. She still gets misty eyed when we talk about him.

        I guess it just struck me that all the fancy trapping were just a way to assuage the guilt for killing a pet that your family vet wouldn’t. I’m normally not that cynical, but that was my gut reaction. I hope you are right and I’m wrong.

    • Grahund

       /  December 13, 2012

      Sorry about replying to myself, but….

      Does anyone know of another service like this, that solely does euthanasia? Have you ever used such a service or do you think you might? If so, why and why not your family vet?

      This place really bugs me and I’d like to feel better about it.

      Reply
  4. Janipurr

     /  December 13, 2012

    I can actually speak about this, because we had to make an emergency run to the local ER clinic here this sunday to euthanize my 15 yo Aussie. We knew he was getting close, but of course it had to happen on a sunday afternoon instead of waiting for my regular vet to be open monday.
    Exam/records 49 + 4.50 = $53.50 (yes, there was a 4.50 charge for the “chart”)
    Euthanasia – 41lbs + $103.95
    Catheterization – $48.38
    Cremation (basic) – $134 (basically, a plain white plastic box)
    Total – - $343.83
    (I ordered a plain box because I found a great place online to order personalized cremation urns and boxes. This is our 3rd pet we euthanized this year.)

    I think our two cats we did earlier this year at our local vet were about $250 each for everything. We live in southern California, specifically Orange County near Disneyland. I don’t know if our local shelter offers euthanization services.

    Reply
  5. Lorre

     /  December 13, 2012

    I live in northern Hartford County, CT, which, in my experience suffers from a dearth of compassionate vets although I am perhaps a little biased having my vet of 35 years retire 4 yrs ago and am now on my 5th vet. Two years ago it cost me $150 to euthanize a 4 lb kitten (cash up front – they kept us waiting a long time before putting her down as their credit card machine wasn’t working properly – understandable – NOT – as I have 19 pets, so what were the odds they would see me again?), they handled her remains. Last year it was $175 for a 6 lb cat, I brought her home to bury. Three years ago it cost $600 for a 120 lb dog, private cremation. I don’t believe our local humane society offers that service, at least not in someone’s time of need. I recently I received an email about a 14 yr old dog in pain with tumors whose elderly owner couldn’t afford the $200 minimum to put her out of her misery and was desperate for help. None of the local vets or organizations would help without cash up front and it was a member of the “irresponsible public” who donated her own money to help the family and dog.

    Reply
  6. I had spent thousands of dollar on a very sick dog. When the vet couldn’t;t do a thing to help my dog and she was suffering so much I had her euthanize d. I didn’t have any money left for a cremation or even a place to bury her. He didn’t charge me anything.

    I will find out about the two vets here in town.

    Caswell County Animal Protection, NC and I choke on the word “protection”. Charged me $5 to heat stick a chicken and $5 for a guinea. I was told that was for the cost of the drug. I was at the shelter when an elderly couple came in with three very old tiny poodles and they needed to euthanize them all, I overheard the shelter director tell the couple it was $5 each.

    Reply
    • Pat Wilson

       /  November 10, 2014

      You are so very fortunate that there is a compassionate place locally that charges only $5.I’m looking at my 16 year old love,and know that all the alternatives in our area prohibitive price-wise.My heart goes out to you for the loss of your canine love..I know how painful it must be to share your experience!Thank you,Pat Wilson

      Reply
  7. Suzannanon

     /  December 13, 2012

    Hermiston, Oregon area

    Roughly:

    Cat or kitten of any size: $70
    Dog under 20 lbs: $70
    Dog between 31-50 lbs: $100
    Dog 51-100: $150
    Dog 100 lb +: $200

    “Regular” disposal is free (the pet’s remains go to the landfill). Cremation is through a private company and is around $200-$300.

    The vets normally don’t require an exam or consultation first, but if your request it, there would be an exam fee of $40-$55.

    If its a house call, it’s, I think $70.

    A sedative is only administered if the pet is struggling or stressed. There is no extra charge for that. The vets around here don’t usually place a catheter solely for euthanasia. If one is needed, there usually isn’t an extra fee, but may be depending on time/difficulty.

    There is a city shelter with a certified euth tech that will euthanize pets, no questions asked, and I think the fee is a flat $25. I would rather shoot my pet in the head than take it to THAT godforsaken place, however.

    Reply
  8. Triangle

     /  December 13, 2012

    The vet we go is very high end for our area. It’s $45 for the exam plus the injections (including sedation). The price for cremation is according to weight and if you want group cremation or private. For a large animal it can run close to $200 if you want a private cremation and the ashes returned. The hospital has a separate room for euthanasia with soft lighting and a couch.

    Our local shelters both will euthanize any animal at owner request. I don’t know the fees, but I know they are lower and there’s no option for private cremation. It’s either group cremation without ashes returned or taking the body home.

    I will also point out that my veterinary hospital will NOT euthanize an animal without an exam if they don’t know the pet. When we euthanized Heather for her brain cancer, they knew her and us very well. There was no question it was a necessary procedure based on medical suffering. But if that had been my first visit to that hospital, I wouldn’t have been able to simply make a call and schedule for PTS. An exam would be required first to establish that the animal was suffering and that the euthanasia wasn’t a ‘convenience euthanasia.’

    That wouldn’t necessarily raise the price…the vet would ask a few questions and do a quick exam. if the reason for PTS was obvious. they wouldn’t charge extra for that exam. But they keep the right to turn away requests for euthanasia if there is no medical justification for the procedure. The exception would be animals that are aggressive and there is a safety concern to the community or owners. They will frequently give the owner the option to sign over the animal to the hospital to be rehomed, but it’s on the employees to take responsibility for all costs and to quickly rehome or foster the animal. So whether that offer gets made or not depends entirely on who is working that night and their situation in terms of animals already being fostered/financial difficulties.

    This was a policy that developed over the course of my years working there because requests for convenience euthanasia were common and distressing. The shelters don’t ask questions at all and don’t require an exam.

    Reply
  9. My vets in NYC perform medical euthanasia for free for clients.

    As I recall, private cremation and return of the cremains in a very nice wooden urn/box is about $160-180, and the vet will arrange all the details with the crematorium.

    I have also on great occasion used a vet who does in-home euthanasia. She is quite expensive at about $600 which includes everything and private remains are returned also in a nice urn/box. For some pets who need it I will gladly pay it.

    Reply
  10. Karen F

     /  December 13, 2012

    The Seattle Animal Shelter doesn’t offer owner-requested euthanasia, and the King County shelter doesn’t, either. But Seattle Humane, which is large and functions to some degree as an open-admission shelter, does. They charge by weight and by private/nonprivate cremation: $60 for the smallest animal (>4 lbs.) with a non-private cremation, up to $255 for the largest (>100 lbs.) with a private cremation.

    They don’t allow you to be with your pet, which seems awful to me. And I don’t know what someone would do if they couldn’t afford what the shelter charges for the weight of their pet.

    We have paid as little as $41 at an emergency clinic, followed by $160 for a private cremation and an urn for our cat’s ashes, up to $188 for in-home euthanasia followed by private cremation at our regular vet ($125) that included a wooden box for our cat’s ashes.

    Reply
    • They don’t? They used to. I used to foster for them and a lady brought in her old pug to be put down. They asked if she wanted to come back and be with him for it and she said, “No” and then started crying and asked when it would be available for pickup (I am assuming ashes or body).

      Reply
  11. Most everyone around here (MI) will do owner-requested euthanasia. Jess, my 9 year old cat, went into heart failure at the vet teaching hospital I take mine to. I was so distraught that I just handed the receptionist my VISA card and signed the charge slip. They do take care of getting the body to the crematorium (they offer a variety of options) and I have a private cremation done and have the cremains returned to me. I think that was $120.

    A 6 month old pit bull puppy I rescued had to be euthanized at animal control and I paid for the private cremation and have her ashes here, too.The cremation was $90 (which surprised me because she was much heavier than Jess). Animal control did not charge me for the euthanasia (because I had surrendered her to them) but would not allow me to be with her either.

    The vet teaching hospital where I go will do owner requested euthanasias, but I don’t know the price. I was talking with one of the ER residents we’ve dealt with a lot and she was very discouraged about all the “economic euthanasias” they were doing. The VTH is not good at all about taking in and adopting out animals. One of the gen med vets does some shelter medicine, but it’s very much a focus on research.

    Our local humane society offers owner-requested euthanasias but I’m not sure about the price (they are good about offering spay-neuter support, providing food, and behavior support to help people keep their pets) so I suspect that it’s reasonable. I’m also not sure whether they allow the people to stay during the actual euthanasia.

    In the 1990s I had my 15 year old pup euthanized and had her cremated. I didn’t realize then that I had to request a private cremation, so I think I have Miss Tiffany and several of her closest friends here with me now.

    Oh, I plan to have the cremains mingled with mine when I die and we’ll all be scattered somewhere beautiful together.

    Reply
  12. I called one of my vets that I use and asked about their policies and prices.
    Carolina Virginia Vet hospital, NC does not do owner request euthanasia on healthy pest.
    Will only euthanize documented sick animals of known clients after all options have been exhausted.
    O lbs- 25 lbs $45
    26 -50 $50
    51 – 75 $65
    75 – 100 $85
    This includes disposal they called it burial.. (black bag / dumpster)
    There is a business in the next town over that will cremate it is done by weight also.. they will pick up animal and deliver deliver ashes back to the vet..

    Reply
  13. KateH

     /  December 15, 2012

    We had to put our 15 1/2 yr old girl to sleep in October. She had lost weight and had gotten down to 48 (instead of 63) pounds, so her euth at the vet was about $50. He didn’t need to sedate her as she was ready to leave, but if he had, I think it would have been maybe $20 more. (I do get a small discount since I used to work there and I have multiple pets.)

    One of our dogs went very suddenly 4 years ago (atrial rupture), and I was so unhappy knowing that she was stored in the freezer until the crematorium service did their weekly pick-up (they are on the southwest side of the Cleveland area while we’re on the northeast), that I was so relieved when, a year later, I found out that a human funeral home with a crematory was offering the service for pets. We’d had two big dogs die before this at emergency clinics, and while I’ve worked in vet offices, those two left us elsewhere, so it didn’t hit me the same way as when that one died. I’d actually carried her into my vet’s as she died, and laid her on the table, and because I had taken other people’s pets to the freezer in this clinic, it finally struck me how depressing it is to know that your pet is laying with/on others waiting to be slung into a big truck and hauled off elsewhere and the ashes brought back a week or two later in a tacky box with a sticker on it. Most clients don’t really think about that part, just as I really hadn’t either, but still, I wished for something else.

    I’ve tried to bury our littlest pets (hamsters, gerbils) before, but they’ve been dug up by very determined raccoons. Because of the chemicals used, I never wanted to try burying our dogs (our yard holds a lot of water and the soil is clay-y, so digging is not pleasant anyway. When I found out about DeJohn Funeral Homes pet services, we had them cremate my heart dog 3 years ago, and our princess this past October. Cremating her, alone, with return of ashes in a nice wooden box (ashes in a velvet bag), with various thoughtful things such as nose print and paw print cards, and two poems on nice paper, and info about bereavement counseling, cost $295.

    Reply
  14. Eucritta

     /  December 15, 2012

    I’ve been searching for our records, and can’t find the bill for our cat Cueball earlier this year so I don’t have an exact figure for the euth. It was around $80 I think. The cremation was done at the Sonoma Co. HS for $200, and his ashes were returned in a redwood box with his name on it & a letter of condolence with info on counseling. Our vet’s office did the delivery – I don’t know who specifically – at no charge.

    So far as I know, none of the local shelters offer euth without surrender, although I assume the vet clinic at SCHS will provide the service to clients.

    For northern California generally, the Horse Plus Humane Soc. in Bangor holds a monthly free euth clinic for horses, which includes care for the body afterwards as well.

    Reply
  15. I’m a veterinary technician in FL and we charge $140 which includes exam, IVcath, and any additional sedation that may be needed as well as euthasol. We don’t do convenience euthanasia. Our prices don’t vary by weight except for cremation.

    Communal cremation is $40. Private cremation is $150 for cats and $199 for dogs. Owners have the option to take pets home for burial–we absolutely do not dispose of pets in dumpster/landfill and our cremation company cremates or buries all pets–no disposal.

    Occasionally we don’t charge if the pet has been in hospital for sometime. Euthanasia can take its toll on our staff–we care very much for our patients and their parents. We wait with the owners as long as possible and never leave the pet by itself afterwards. I find owners don’t want to leave them–I wouldn’t want to either.

    Sometimes pet parents can’t or don’t want to be present and we make sure to give those pets extra love. It’s one of the hardest things in my career but its also the kindest thing we can offer our terminal pets.

    Our local SPCA does offer lower cost euthanasia but I don’t know details.

    Reply
    • Communal cremation is when pets are cremated together and our company scatters the ashes in their garden.

      Our private cremation has a wooden box with engraved nameplate, half “best friends” heart in with ashes and half for the owner, a candle, sympathy letter, rainbow bridge poem, and certificate of cremation. Ashes are retuned to our clinic so owners can pick up at their convenience. We will hold them as long as needed.

      A special patient of mine I actually took the ashes home so he wouldn’t be alone at the clinic at night.

      Reply
  16. mrodnyc

     /  March 22, 2014

    I called around today and found out that in NYC you can go to the low cost vet mobile (on 110th street) and pay $150 to have your dog euthanized in their van. They do not handle disposals. But the NYACC is one block away and they will dispose of your dogs remains for $25.

    The NYACC also offers Euthanasia for $175 but you are not allowed to be in the room. They mass cremate as well.

    I also called the NYC Animal medical Center (on 64th street) and they will euthanize your dog for a flat fee of $210 and you are allowed to be in the room, and the dog will be mass cremated.

    These are options for people on a budget and who do not want/need to keep their pets remains.

    Reply

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