hands holding a dog's paw


The definition of “Euthanasia” is the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering. It is also the hardest yet most compassionate decision pet owners ever have to make.

Euthanasia is a two-step process:

  • Medicine is administered to calm and sedate the pet; and then,
  • Medicine is administered to humanely euthanize the pet (shut down the brain and heart and respiratory functions); the pet simply goes to sleep in peace. 

Hershey Veterinary Hospital does everything possible to help you through this difficult time. The pet owner has the choice of staying with the pet as euthanasia is performed.    

We offer individual cremations where the pet’s ashes are returned to the owner in a carved wooden box; the ashes are returned to Hershey Veterinary Hospital in about a week for pick-up. We also offer communal cremations where the pet’s ashes are not returned. The pet owner may also take the pet home to be buried. A pet owner also has the option of having made a keepsake paw print.