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In-Home Veterinary Services

Affordable, Compassionate In-Home Humane Euthanasia & Geriatric House Call Consultations To Help Aging Pets Enjoy Quality Of Life


“Every creature deserves a peaceful passage to the next realm.” —Robin Elms, DVM

Welcome!

I’m Robin Elms, DVM, Founder & Owner Of Peaceful Passages In-Home Veterinary Services.

My passion and mission is to support the human-animal bond — especially in the most vulnerable and delicate of times: the moment of our pet’s passing.

While I offer a variety of in-home veterinary services, I primarily provide a compassionate and affordable service for you to help your pet to the next realm in the comfort of your home.

Please scroll down to read more about my services and how I can help your pet with their peaceful passage.

About Robin Elms, DVM

Dr. Robin Elms grew up an only child, with her cats and dogs as her first best friends.

She’s been practicing veterinary medicine since 1999 and is passionate about helping pet owners better understand the aging process of their animals.

Dr. Elms saw a need for at-home euthanasia services in mid-coast Maine, and in 2010 opened Peaceful Passages.

She will travel up to two hours to help any animal pass in the comfort of their own home with their beloved caregivers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About In-Home Euthanasia & Cremation Services

How quickly can Dr. Elms get to us if we need to have our pet euthanized?

Generally, Dr. Elms can get to you within 24 hours of contacting her for services.

How does euthanasia work? Is it painful in any way?

Your pet will be heavily sedated with an injection in a rear muscle. This may or may not sting for about ten seconds. When your pet is completely unconscious (after approximately 15 minutes) the second injection will be given in an accessible vein in one of their legs. As they drift into unconsciousness the family is encouraged hold their animal and say their goodbyes.

What happens if I change my mind at the last minute?

Dr. Elms will consider this a consultation and will possibly leave you with prescriptions for medications or suggestions for providing your pet with the best quality of life.

Are all religious beliefs honored?

Yes. Dr. Elms encourages caregivers to offer prayers, poems, music and whatever owners feel is appropriate that celebrates the animal’s life and the love it gave.

Is it possible to perform this outdoors?

Yes.

When do I know the moment has come? 

Dr. Elms can help on a case-by-case basis assess your pet’s quality of life. There are many older pets who simply need pain or other medication to significantly extend their lives. In general, when an animal can no longer get up without help or refuses food for several days and/or has recurrent seizures,  this animal needs timely intervention to avoid further suffering.

Isn’t it best to just let an animal die naturally?

Generally not. Just like people, animals can languish in silent pain for long periods of time before expiring naturally. As pet owners, we artificially lengthen our pets’ lives through preventative care and are therefore morally obliged to perform this final act of kindness.

Is it possible that my animal will let me know that it is time for it to pass?

Frequently pet owners tell veterinarians that from one day to the next they saw a drastic change in their pets’ expression as if to say “I’m ready to go. Please help me. I just don’t have the will anymore.”

I know the time is near. Are you willing to make a preliminary visit to get to know my pet beforehand?

Yes. But there is a consultation fee depending on length of visit and distance traveled.

Are there any preparations I can make?

Caregivers are encouraged to personalize the setting so that their animal feels as comfortable as possible. Often this is where the pet normally slept, such as in the living room or bedroom. Often owners will give a final last meal. Occasionally an animal who is high strung will benefit from anti-anxiety medicine similar to valium, which Dr. Elms can give you to administer before she comes.

My pet just died at home and I’m too distraught. Are you available to pick up my animal for cremation?

Yes.

What if my pet passes while Dr. Elms is en route?

Cremation is still an option. There is no charge for the visit, just for the mileage.

Are you involved in the burial?

Generally not, but arrangements can be made for those with physical disabilities who wish to bury at home.

Are my children old enough to witness this?

Children’s preparation for death is a case by case assessment, but generally children under seven years old should not be present.

How long will it take before the cremated remains are returned?

A week to several weeks depending on the schedule of Fluke’s Aftercare of Litchfield, Maine.

Questions About Veterinary House Calls

Is Dr. Elms limited to geriatric care and euthanasia?

Dr. Elms enjoys house calls for routine care (deworming, vaccinations, bloodwork), for those whose owners have transportation difficulties due to multiple pets, lack of vehicle, or physical or mental challenges. Please see Services & Pricing for more specifics, or contact her for a quote.

Do you really see all species, including farm animals?

All species deserve to die with minimal pain and maximum comfort and dignity in a familiar setting. Dr. Elms has euthanized horses and pocket pets, like hamsters, mice, ferrets, rabbits, etc. She will see farm animals for routine care and humane (complete anesthesia) castration of pet pigs/goats/sheep. She will trim donkey hooves and goat/sheep horn with the animals under sedation.

Testimonials

 

We want to thank you for helping us send Allie Cat to Kitty Heaven. It was such a relief to us that she could be at home, spending her last moments in her bed, with us. We appreciated your calm and peaceful manner and for making what was a sad time for us OK. Thanks again.
— Chris & Pat
She came to the house and was very compassionate in helping us with the passing of our beloved family dog, Jake. She’s a gentle, caring person who’s a wonderful support during such a difficult time. We wouldn’t have gone through this any other way. Highly recommend.
— Jane D.
This lady is amazing. She called me back immediately. She was sweet, wonderful and compassionate. She came early in the morning so my beloved pet would not have to suffer any longer. She helped make the transition as easy as possible. It is a blessing to have such a caring person in the community.
— John D.
Dr. Robin Elms is a wonderful and compassionate person. One call and she came to our rescue. Our male goat was [having trouble with his horns]. She talked to us to relax us , then she sedated our goat before starting any work on him. After she left we sat with him till he was up and eating. The next morning Dr. Elms called up to check on how he was, not just once but three times. We would highly recommend Dr. Elms. Thank you, Robin, for being here when we needed you.
— Linda & Steven G.
As a pet care professional and life long pet owner and lover, I have had to hold more animals than I care to count while they are humanely euthanized due to illness or advanced old age.

This year it was time for our family to say goodbye to Tiger Lilly, our bad but beloved Boxer. She had been my daughters 9th birthday gift, and her constant companion during her growing up years. At the age of 13 Lilly was experiencing debilitating, painful arthritis, and had begun to have frequent seizures.

I arranged to have Dr. Elms come to our house so that Lilly could die in the comfortable familiarity of home. Dr. Elms provided us with oral tranquilizers, and after a dinner of rare steak Lilly curled up in her favorite spot on the sofa and fell into a deep, medicated sleep. She barely opened her eyes when Dr. Elms arrived, so peaceful and comfortable she was. Her death was swift, and I am convinced, free of pain or fear. And there was something else. Something very important. The other dogs were able to know that Lilly, the matriarch of the canine clan, had died. Each reacted differently. Dazzle the shy Standard Poodle sniffed the air, looked hard at Lilly’s still form, and walked away. Poppy the Pug, Lilly’s special friend, sat near her head a long moment… then in seeming resignation sighed deeply and moved away. None of the dogs seemed confused or searched for Lilly in the coming days, in contrast to when pack members have gone off to the vet and never returned.

The passage was, as it is named, peaceful. Not just for Lilly, but for her human and canine companions, as well.
We are grateful for Dr. Elms and her service.
— Daryl C.

I Look Forward To Helping You And Your Pets With Care & Compassion.

Services & Pricing

In-Home Euthanasia

House Call & Humane Euthanasia $120

Price is for cats & dogs less than 20 lbs. and does not include cremation services (see “Cremation Services” pricing section for options).

Animals over 20 lbs. range from $130 - $220:

20-40 lbs…………………………………..$130
40-60 lbs…………………………………..$140
60-80 lbs…………………………………..$150
80-100 lbs…………………………………$160
100-120 lbs………………………………..$170
120-140 lbs………………………………..$180
140-160 lbs………………………………..$200
160-180 lbs………………………………..$220

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for more details about in-home euthanasia.

‘Good lad, good old Theo,’ I murmured, and stroked the face and ears again and again as the little creature slipped peacefully away.

Like all vets I hated doing this, painless though it was, but to me there has always been a comfort in the knowledge that the last thing these helpless animals knew was the sound of a friendly voice and the touch of a gentle hand.
— James Herriot, Author of All Creatures Great & Small

 

Cremation Services

Dr. Elms works with Ashes to Ashes, a pets-only cremation service in Lagrange, Maine.

Transportation to the crematorium is included in the pricing.

Private Cremation For Pets

Ashes returned in a wooden box, along with an unbreakable clay casting of your pet’s paw print.

Less than 10 lbs……………………..$160
10-20 lbs…………………………………..$180
20-30 lbs…………………………………..$200
30-40 lbs…………………………………..$220
40-60 lbs…………………………………..$240
60-80 lbs…………………………………..$260
80-100 lbs…………………………………$280
100-120 lbs………………………………..$300
120-140 lbs………………………………..$320
140-160 lbs………………………………..$340
160-180 lbs………………………………..$360

Communal (Group) Cremation For Pets

No ashes returned.

Less than 25 lbs……………………..$50
Greater than lbs..…………………..$2/lb.


In-Home Geriatric Veterinary Services

Consultation for Hospice Care $95

If your pet needs bloodwork diagnostics, medication, or assessment of previous veterinary care, Dr. Elms can give an overview of how to best extend your pet’s life. There is no time limit; Dr. Elms will stay as long as is needed.


 

Other Services

House Call (Contact For Estimate)

Dr. Elms enjoys house calls for routine care (deworming, vaccinations, bloodwork), for animals whose owners have transportation difficulties due to multiple pets, lack of vehicle, or physical or mental challenges.


Payment & Additional Fees

Mileage

Dr. Elms is based in Camden and charges $1.00 per mile, round-trip.

Payments

Dr. Elms accepts cash and personal checks made out to “Robin Elms, DVM” or “Peaceful Passages”. Payment in full is expected at upon Dr. Elms’s arrival at your home, unless other arrangements have been made in advance.