decision to "put them to sleep" at the end of their lives or because
of incurable illness becomes increasingly difficult.
Now a Charlotte veterinarian, Dr. Julie Reck, has launched a new in-
home pet euthanasia service called Home Farewell
(www.homefarewell.com). To help people make the difficult decision to
end their pet's life, she has also published a new book, "Facing
Farewell – How and When to Decide Euthanasia for Your Pet" (www.facingfarewell.com
). She'll be signing copies of her book and answering questions at the
Pet Expo at Cabarrus Arena in Concord on May 8.
"I had numerous requests for in-home euthanasia while in a private
small animal practice in Charlotte," she explained. "My husband Matt
and I formed Home Farewell to serve pets and their owners throughout
the Charlotte area. While it is a difficult calling, I am truly
dedicated to relieving animals' suffering in the comfort of their home
A recent client, Gloria Shamblin, recounted her experience this way:
"When faced with the best way to put an end to my cat Flower's 48
hours of increasing suffering that had become unbearable, I knew that
taking her to the animal hospital, with its deafening cacophony of
barking dogs, meowing cats, telephones, and strangers' voices, made
more frightening by the smells and the 15-minute trip in the car, was
only an option of last, desperate resort. Through my veterinarian, I
eventually found my way to Dr. Julie Reck and her pet euthanasia
service called 'Home Farewell.'
"She was in my home in less than an hour, calming me, examining
Flower, comforting us both," Shamblin continued. "She examined Flower
and discussed with me her findings. There were no time constraints
that would be found in a crowded vet's office with emergencies
waiting. I could be fully present without inhibitions or constraints.
From Flower, there was no crying, no wild-eyed fear or desperation,
and this freed me from guilt. We were home and love was in this
quiet, familiar place."
"Being at home allows the owners and other family members to express
their feelings freely," Dr. Reck explained. "Naturally there are often
tears and crying. Many people would not feel free to let go at a vet's
office. The emotional release helps the healing process, so we feel
it's a good thing that our clients are free to do that with us."
Unless the owners prefer to handle burial or cremation themselves, Dr.
Reck takes the deceased animal from the home to a local cremation
service, which later returns the pet's ashes to the owners.
Dr. Reck was drawn to animals at an early age. She was born into a
family dedicated to serving the U.S. Army and moved approximately
every two years of her childhood. "Frequent moving and painful
goodbyes with friends, made the family's four-legged members one the
few constants in my childhood," she recalled. "Strong relationships
with our family's collies and horses taught me the importance of the
The time she spent with animals in her childhood inspired her to
become a doctor devoted to helping animals. Upon graduating high
school, she enrolled at Virginia Tech where she pursued a degree in
veterinary medicine. Her hard work was rewarded with an early
acceptance to Virginia Tech's College of Veterinary Medicine. She was
the second youngest student accepted in the history of the college.
She received her doctorate in veterinary medicine in May 2007.
"After receiving my degree, I searched the country for an ideal area
to practice veterinary medicine," she said. "Born in Georgia, I felt a
strong connection to the South and chose Charlotte. I began my career
practicing small animal medicine and surgery in a local vet clinic. In
March 2009, I was given the opportunity to work with the Humane
Society of Charlotte in the mornings. This frees me up to provide Home
Farewell services in the afternoons and early evenings."
More information about Dr. Reck, Home Farewell, and her book can be
found at www.homefarewell.com.