"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." - anonymous
Dr. Karina Flinn is a 2003 graduate of UC Davis veterinary school. She spent her first year as a vet doing a medical and surgical internship at a large Chicago-area veterinary hospital. After five years of working graveyard shifts in a busy Chicago ER, it was time to come home to California and settle down. She now works as a spay and neuter surgeon for a Sacramento animal shelter and operates At Home Animal Hospice. In addition to a rewarding career, she spends her time chasing around two preschoolers.
At Home Animal Hospice was started after Dr. Flinn had to say goodbye to her own once-in-a-lifetime dog, Kimi. The loss was difficult, but she felt grateful that the process was smooth and pain-free. Wishing that other owners had access to a quiet and controlled in-home pet euthanasia, she realized that there was a need for caring pet euthanasia service in and around Sacramento. She knows firsthand how hard it is to say goodbye to a special pet and she wants to make the process easier and more peaceful for her clients and their pets. This was a natural fit after years of volunteering for the UC Davis Pet Loss support hotline as a veterinary student. As an intern in Chicago, she was awarded the "Most Compassionate Vet" award out of a group of ten interns. She is known for her calm and compassionate bedside manner.
Thorough in-home examination of your pet, including a plan for palliative care (possibly including pain control, relief of nausea, or nutrition supplementation), a review of medical records and a second opinion (if desired), and a discussion about end-of-life choices. The exam usually lasts 60-90 minutes. Exam fee includes doctor's travel* to your home. This consultation is not required prior to scheduling an in-home euthanasia.
Includes doctor's travel* to your home, brief assessment of your pet, premedication of your pet with a sedative, injection of euthanasia solution, and notification of the euthanasia to your regular vet. Owner handles care of remains.
Includes doctor's travel* to your home, premedication of your pet with a sedative, injection of euthanasia solution, transport of pet remains to Caring Pet Crematory, and notification of the euthanasia to your regular veterinarian. No ashes are returned to owners following a communal cremation.
Includes doctor's travel* to your home, premedication of your pet with a sedative, injection of euthanasia solution, transport of pet remains to Caring Pet Crematory for a private cremation, notification of the euthanasia to your regular veterinarian, and hand delivery of your pet's ashes to your home in about 3 to 7 days. Ashes are returned in your choice of either a wood urn or a plastic scattering urn.
*Travel Charges: Travel to areas outside of the cities of Sacramento, West Sacramento, Davis, and Elk Grove may be subject to a $50-$100 surcharge.
How much notice do I need to schedule appointments?
We recognize that euthanasia decisions are often last-minute and Dr. Flinn does her best to accommodate all requests. She can sometimes make same-day appointments and often next-day appointments, however availability depends upon her schedule. Some evening and weekend appointments are available.
What do I do if it is an emergency?
Feel free to call Dr. Flinn, but if she is not available you should seek the closest animal emergency hospital. Some Sacramento ERs include Mueller Pet Medical Center (916) 428-9202 and VCA Sacramento Veterinary Referral Center (916) 362-3111.
What should I prepare before an in-home euthanasia?
There is no need to prepare anything specific. Dr. Flinn will bring comfy blankets but if you have a special blanket or pet bed we can easily use that, too. You may continue giving your pet any medications that they may be taking. Feel free to spoil them with special food treats on the day of the appointment.
How do I know if I need a consultation prior to scheduling the euthanasia?
The hospice examination and consultation is for animals who are not ready for euthanasia but who might benefit from home veterinary care in the last weeks to months of their lives as well as for pet owners who desire an experienced professional opinion about their pet’s quality of life and readiness for euthanasia. The consultation is not a required part of the in-home euthanasia process.
I made the agonizing decision to put my dog to sleep and I wanted to do it at home where my dog would be calm and surrounded by friends. Dr. Flinn called me and went through the procedure, including logistics. When she showed up, she again explained the procedure and told me exactly what to expect. She was so kind to my lab. All during the procedure, she would explain each step and ask me if I was ready.
Dr. Flinn provided wonderful supportive care for this difficult time. I was so happy to be able to leave my frail Penny dozing in the back yard rather than bring her in to the vet office for euthanasia. Dr. Flinn explained thoroughly the process and allowed me plenty of time. I'll miss my little mischief-maker, but am happy to have been able to provide her with such compassionate end-of-life care.
I must say this was the best decision to help with a very difficult decision. We were able to comfortably let our beloved little Angus Young keep from struggling or suffering. The time had come. Dr. Flinn came to our home and in lieu of something tragic or dark it was loving, warm, and compassionate. I would not trade that last afternoon with him for anything. It helped us through and helped his brother too