The bond we develop with our pets is soulful. They enrich our lives and become part of the family.
In some cases, the connections we form with our pets are among the longest, strongest relationships in our lives. When a loving pet gets sick and the end is near, pet owners experience the full range of emotions of losing a loved one.
Dr. Gayle Burrell is doing something to help.
Burrell, the founder and owner of Gentle Pet Passings, specializes in peaceful, compassionate, at-home euthanasia for pets. She also works closely with several veterinary practices throughout the Bay area.
“I see the stress and anxiety the animals and owners have when they come into a clinic,” Burrell said. “The last place animals should be at the end is the place they least want to be. Owners hate that dreaded drive to the vet. I knew there had to be a more peaceful way.”
Burrell grew up in Canada and has spent the last 34 years in the Tampa Bay area. After spending several years as a firefighter-paramedic, she decided to become a veterinarian.
She graduated from the University of South Florida and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed her internship and clinical training at North Carolina State University.
Burrell began Gentle Pet Passings in November 2010 and has performed more than 100 services since then. She works mainly on small animals, goats and smaller. Her website is full of testimonials praising her empathy, compassion and professionalism.
Dawn Maciuba contacted Burrell when the end was near for her mother’s 16-year-old Golden Retriever, Cody.
“My mom was too upset to be present,” Maciuba said. “Dr. Burrell came into the house, kneeled down and petted the dog. Cody was not scared, and was very comfortable and relaxed. Dr. Burrell gave Cody a small injection to relax her, and gave us the opportunity to say our final goodbyes. She inserted an IV, and a minute later Cody was at peace.”
Maciuba had made the drive to the veterinarian's office in the past.
“I want everyone to know that this is the best thing for the pet and the owner to have this done at home," she said. "It gives both sides a peace and calm that could not be there in a vet’s office.”
Burrell spends many hours on the phone each week providing information to pet owners in despair.
“Many people are so upset, they break down and cry,” Burrell said. “People call and want to prepare for the future. They do not want to be left scrambling to make arrangements at the last minute.”
Burrell's website, GentlePetPassings.com, is filled with testimonials, support group information and a pet memorial. Clients can email Burrell a picture and story about their pet, and it will be posted online.
For information about Burrell and the services she provides, call 727-420-7424 or email email@example.com.