Being able to spend the last moments with your beloved animal at home is important, not just for the owner, but more importantly the pets. It avoids the natural anxiety of a hospital for the pets and allows everyone to go through a very emotional and sad experience in the most comfortable setting.”
So begins the Coastal Entrepreneur Award nomination of doctors Jennifer Anderson and Meghan Tayloe, co-founders of Coastal Pet Hospice & Home Euthanasia Mobile Practice
“We’ve both been practicing in day practice for a long time and saw the need for in-home, end-of-life care for pets,” said Tayloe of their decision to start the mobile service.
Following a two-year accreditation process, they opened the practice in 2017 while continuing to keep regular business hours at Highsmith Animal Hospital.
“These decisions require lengthy in-depth discussions with clients, something that’s often a challenge for busy veterinarians and their clients,” Tayloe continued. “It makes a huge difference to be able to provide that service in the comfort of someone’s home.”
After going through the deaths of their own elderly dogs, the doctors knew their clients must have the same questions and need for support as themselves.
“We both had to let our dogs go at home and felt like we were really lucky to be able to do that and wanted to be able to provide that service for others,” Tayloe said.
The hospice side of their business provides pain management, nutritional support, mobility and hygiene options along with education and support for the difficult decisions that come with advanced illness and aging, according to the nomination.
“We do provide the complete hospice package for those people that need that service,” Anderson added. “We’re supporting them through endof- life until the decision is made for humane euthanasia.”
Anderson and Tayloe work opposite schedules at their day practice, so their mobile service is available seven days a week within 60 miles of Wilmington. Often, they’ll see a client during lunch or after their fullday schedule, Anderson said.
As their business has expanded, they receive calls from people who are not their regular clients. “We may have never met them or their pet, so we spend a pretty good amount of time on the phone with them getting to know them and their pet,” Tayloe said.
“Most of the time they’ve already made the decision when they call us, and they want it done at home,” Anderson said.
With each client, they carefully explain the procedure of euthanasia, preparing the client for what is ahead.
“We take every step to ensure that the pet and the family are as comfortable as we can make them,” she said.
CHP also coordinates with four cremation services that can pick up the pet at home and deliver its ashes back to the family.
“Sometimes they just want to talk through it. They’ve talked to their veterinarian; maybe their vet has referred them to us. People want to do the right thing and know that they’re supported through that time,” Tayloe said. “They want it to be a peaceful experience for them and their pet.”