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A peaceful end for a beloved friend

Lori Gibsons Compassionate Care is much appreciated by pet owners


by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Dr. Lori Gibson, shown with her own cat, obviously is a cat lover herself. As a veterinarian she wants to help other cat lovers with difficult end-of-life decisions and actions.

Dr. Lori Gibson wants to help pet owners with a very difficult task — bring a peaceful conclusion to the life of a beloved pet.

This is a specialty so rare that Gibson’s Compassionate Care is one of very few home pet euthanasia and aftercare services in the Portland area. But Gibson and her staff have been able to ease the minds of many pet lovers ever since she began her business five years ago.

“I hear all the time, ‘I can’t believe you do this!’” said Gibson, who moved to West Linn in January of this year. “But it’s not all grim and about death. I help pets pass on as easily as possible.

“When I started, I wasn’t sure of what the demand would be, but it increases every year.”

The idea of having such a service began 15 years ago when Gibson was just starting out as a veterinarian. Pet owners asked her if she knew of a way to have their pets die at home, in comfort, care and peace. Gibson could not help them at the time, but it always remained in her mind.

When she actually decided to begin a pet euthanasia service 10 years later it was “sort of serendipitous.” For one thing, a friend had quite an unsatisfactory experience with a euthanasia van. At the same time, Gibson had temporarily left veterinary work to work in the human health business, conducting trials of pacemakers and defibrillators for a major company.

“I wanted to get back into veterinary work,” Gibson said, and what had been just a vague idea became “one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.”

As a veterinarian, Gibson knew well that pet owners loved their dogs and cats so much that they would even make financial sacrifices as their pet came to the end of life.

“Clinics scare animals,” Gibson said. “They don’t like it there. Pet owners don’t want their last moments to be on a cold, hard, steel table. Often older dogs can’t walk, and sometimes they’re so large that they can’t be put in a vehicle.”

Gibson can set a different kind of scene, right in the pet’s home, with family on hand, music and even candles.

Still, Gibson has more than the ability to administer euthanasia in the proper way and provide a comfortable setting. Most important, she knows how to deal with owners and pets. This is necessary because in almost half of her cases Gibson is asked by pet owners for guidance when their pets are critically ill and it is not clear what should be done for them.

“I find what people really want, and I know how their pets will react,” Gibson said.

Another key aspect to Compassionate Care is that Gibson and her associates are ready to go out on a case at almost any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because of this Gibson’s service covers a wide range, including Salem, the coast, Mount Hood and just about all of Oregon. Gibson gets nothing but rave reviews on such websites as Yelp and Angie’s list.

Yet there is one complaint.

“I constantly hear from people who say they wish they had known that a home pet euthanasia service like this existed,” Gibson said, “but they couldn’t find someone or get a call-back. That is why I want more and more people to know that we’re available.”

For more information about Compassionate Care, visit drlorigibson.com or call 503-880-1172.



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