By Amelia Santaniello, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Janis Olson will tell you the hardest part of having a pet isn’t cleaning up a litter box or the backyard, it’s saying goodbye. She agreed to let WCCO-TV witness the death of her Husky Heather because she wants pet owners to know that at-home euthanasia is an option for them.

“Honestly, I hope she’s, I pray that she’s gone when I come home,” Olson told us last month. “I don’t want her to suffer, and I don’t want to. I’m being chicken. I don’t want to make the call.”

Olson spotted Heather, a stray dog, at Minneapolis Animal Control 16 years ago. She was scheduled to be put down the next day. Instead, Olson brought her to her Northeast Minneapolis home.

We talked to her there about how to make the decision to end a pet’s life.

“She’s gotta have more than one bad day,” said Olson. “Yeah, she doesn’t look good, and someone else who doesn’t know her or isn’t into animals and pets the way I am might think this dog should have been down a long time ago, but this is how we’re doing it.”

Heather used to run fast. Olson figures that’s how she ended up homeless. Now, she moves slower and more stiffly. When it was time for Heather to go outside, Olson said, “Heather, let’s go outside and go potty, c’mon, here we go.” Heather stayed in her spot in the family room. Olson waited a while, then she went to her dog. “C’mon, I’ll help you,” she said, lifting the pet into her arms.

Olson has an aging Mom and says it has made her more accepting of an aging dog.

“This part is really hard, I’d like this part to be over, because then I can get on with the grieving part,” she said with a laugh. “That’s very selfish to say that, but you know what I mean, don’t ya?”

Olson was waiting for Heather to give her a sign. On the day we visited, Heather and her owner still weren’t ready.

“Sometimes people write that they’re crying, and so it’s hard to make the phone call,” said Dr. Rebecca McComas. “Email’s a little bit easier.”

McComas owns Minnesota Pets, which is an at-home euthanasia service. The veterinarian euthanizes around a dozen animals each week, not in a clinic, but in owners’ homes. She charges $225 for home visits, regardless of the distance or the pet’s size.

“It’s a dramatically different experience. It’s nothing, nothing like a clinical experience,” said McComas. “Clinical practice can be pretty fast-paced, and a euthanasia appointment is something that … you don’t want it to be fast-paced.”

A couple weeks later, Heather’s ready, and so is Olson. She called McComas the night before to arrange an appointment.

“She doesn’t look 17 to me. Her face hides it,” said the vet as pets Heather’s head. “No, she doesn’t look like she feels well today, certainly.”

McComas starts the process by giving Heather a sedative. While they wait for Heather to get sleepy, Janis says the sort of things we all say when we’re losing a pet, “I love you, Peanut. You are a good girl. Mommy loves you.”

As Olson’s other dog looks on, McComas explains how she’ll give Heather medicine that will cause her heart to stop.

“I’ll use my stethoscope and I’ll listen to her chest, probably for a couple minutes,” she said. “I’ll let you know that her heart has stopped.”

Olson’s is worried about Heather.

“If she cries out in pain, you’ll stop, won’t you?” Asked Olson.

“Yeah, I sure will. I don’t think she’ll feel me,” said McComas. “If she were to feel it, we’d just wait a little while.”

“OK, good, thank you,” said Olson, as she leaned down to kiss her dog. “God bless you, baby girl.”

Then the doctor gives Heather the last shot she’ll ever have. A few minutes later, she checks for a heartbeat.

“Her heart has stopped. She’s gone,” said McComas.

“Oh, Heather. Oh, Heather,” said Olson, as she starts to cry.

There is no rush. She’s able to take her time saying goodbye.

“I love you so much. Mommy loves you,” said Olson. “You’re so sweet. God bless you. What a little angel you are. You’re a real angel now.”

When it’s all over, McComas makes a paw print for Olson to keep. A while later, Olson helps Dr. McComas carry Heather out.

The family room seems emptier now, but Olson has no regrets.

“Horrible decision to have to make, but with that in mind, it went, it went great,” she said. “Now I get to just grieve and start healing.”

Heather’s jeweled collar rests on the couch, no longer around her neck. The pet bed on the floor is empty. Her dog is gone, but Olson feels good about the way Heather went.

“Yeah, on her favorite blanket, at home, and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” she said.

Paula Engelking, Producer

Contact Paula

Amelia Santaniello

Comments (229)
  1. Patsy says:

    Thanks alot! March 17th marks 3 years since I had to do this the last time…. and now I will be having flashbacks all night…. I think it is horrible that you filmed and showed this on your news program…. national news about Japan is hard enuf to watch….you don’t need to show this type of thing for all dog owners who have lost their loved pets to see….again!

    1. Barbara says:

      I saw the headline. I read the story, but I chose not to watch the video. I didn’t have to, because I’ve seen it personally too many times. I personally think the article was okay. I’m lucky that my vet comes to our house for this. I think this helps a lot of people with this so very painful decision.

      1. JamieinMN says:

        I have yet to watch the video. The story itself just broke my heart. 🙁

      2. deepthroat 2 says:

        If your still traumatized by the loss of a pet three years ago that you chose to put down, then you have some issues to work out.

      3. Igor says:

        Yeah “deepthroat”, sounds like you have some issues to work out too. Patsy was expressing her feelings regarding the audacity to show the death in a video. The story was sad and depressing enough, i certainly didn’t watch it. i see death everyday. But some of us rescue pets to save their lives. Some of us have rescued pets that save our lives. Name another creature on this earth that is born, bred, and dies to serve us. Unconditional love. Sounds like you and Jamie have some issues to work out with who you blame and why you do it within yourself.

    2. Cliff says:

      Lack of real life education is one of the many downfalls of this country. Grow Up and realize that you DID NOT HAVE TO WATCH! You chose to, so don’t blame other people for your own problems.

    3. Mandy says:

      Thank you for saying that.

    4. Chris NYC says:

      JamieinMN I read the headline but I didn`t watch the video. I only wanted to see the dog. YOU are a terrible person and I hope you will choke on the next time you think of putting your dog to sleep. YOU are a horrible ,a horrible person.

      1. Dibs says:

        Who are you to judge someone? Its her dog, she loved her enough to not see her suffer and be in pain. Go yell at someone that actually abuses their animals.

      2. Mark Los Angeles says:

        That is one of the meanest things you can say to another human being…You have a lot to learn……

    5. Paul says:

      Why did you watch? Your decision precedes your intelligence, which in turn was also reflected in your post. I am a dog owner and a volunteer at the humane society. This avenue just gives people another option. I see nothing wrong with this. It is your prerogative if you choose to watch your pet “go” while on a metal examining table with your vet. That is fine. I may or may not use this type of service. My dog is a member of my family and if you have ever been to an ICU or hospice, you would realize most of the people there would rather die at home also.

      1. Igor says:

        Incorrect. Your lack of information precedes your intelligence. Do not make opinionated statements and treat them as fact. People go to the HOSPICE because they do not want to die at home, or else because they do not want their loved ones to watch, have the burden of them dying within the home, or else they are in such an incapicitated state that it is too much work for family members to care for them at home. People in the ICU don’t want to die there – the ICU isn’t for dying!!! it’s for getting them out of the ICU and into a bed on a unit and eventually go home. Intensive CARE unit. Almost no one wants to die!!! Read some educational base practice articles on it before making a stupid “truth” comment!!

    6. East_TN_Patriot says:

      Give me a break! You saw what the story was about and chose to look at it. Sorry to break it to you, but the world doesn’t revolve around you. This woman made a personal choice and I applaud her for making it. Letting your pet go is a terrible experience and I am glad to know that option is out there. If the news depresses you, perhaps you need to find some good medication or read a nice book.

      And now I will have flashbacks of how selfish you are.

    7. tom says:

      why did you watch it…?

    8. Teacakes says:

      Then WHY did you watch???!!! You know what it was going to be about!

      1. Lassie says:

        People love to get enticed by supposed insensitive comments made by others. It’s the internet, this place is weirder than reality, people have to get over it and make a logic remark on the topic at hand and not get trolled so bad.
        Back to the topic: I’d say if you choose to watch you are sadistic in a sense and get off on it. Don’t own pets, in this economy how can anyone afford one. and pet lovers please stop putting your dogs and cats before the lives of people’s children, human life has more societal value ; maybe not to most who were raised to feel inferior over other races.

    9. Dibs says:

      You had the power to choose NOT to watch the video. Take responsibility for your actions and grow up.

    10. vlad says:

      wow, you are a thin-skinned nut job. “boohoo, I “have” to watch news about japan”. Those people have real suffering. Why not shut up and go do something to help others instead of whining about how you shouldn’t “have” to watch something (no one makes you watch tv, you fruit). Grow up.

      1. Amanda says:

        OK…let me clarify a few things….Patsy, who is my mother, and I had our dog, Dakotah, put to sleep at home 3 years ago. It was a very difficult decision, as it always is. Her quality of life had diminished so much, that we decided euthanasia was the best option. It was a hard day for our family. “Coty” as we called her, was really a member of our family. Our veterinarian was wonderful…so caring and gentle with her. The reason this video was disturbing to my mom was that it seemed to be more of an advertisement for the vet that was featured, rather than an informational report. Yes, my mom had the option to walk away from her TV, and not watch it, but my mom loves dogs. It’s hard for her NOT to watch something so close to her heart. So, shame on you people who criticize so quickly.

  2. melissa says:

    That brought me to tears. I love how people can judge on how others do things. Its real life, and its something really hard o think of having to do. I had to this procedure as well to my 6 year old beagle 3 years ago but mine was in the clinic, and they are right as far as fast paced but they didn’t ever make feel rushed i made the calls on when to do things. I am glad that they aired this for those animal lovers that dont know what to do in these circumstances. I feel for the owner and dog, they are both in my prayers.

  3. tiredandretired says:

    I think the story is a good one, because it lets pet owners know that they have this option, when a pet’s life is ending. I didn’t watch the video, because I thought it would bother me too much. Evidently, there are some on here who wish that they hadn’t watched it either.

  4. Michael says:

    I watched it, regretfully. I had to put my labrador down three years ago, and there was no shame involved as I sat there, an adult squandering and crying like a child. Now, as I sit here, 37 years old, hardened by time and experience……. I started crying like a child again! This story could have most certainly accomplished it’s goal to inform without putting many pet owners back into a time when they lost and grieved. Video is powerful, and more thought should have gone into how people would react to seeing this.

    1. Don says:

      Mike, I am 55 years old and a retired Marine, but I know when the time comes to give my beloved bulldog his last farewell I will cry like a child myself. I have always somewhat hard-hearted, but a dog can bring out the soft side of any human with feeliings. Heck, even this story did me in. Yet, I know I will one day have to face this harsh reality.

      1. JamesM says:

        My old best friend “Dusty” , 15yrs, at my side slowly ambled , due to her age, out to the backyard on Easter Sunday . She suddenly dropped down and could not get up. It was apparent she was leaving me. I handed her a tennis ball (as she loved playing ball all her life). She barely took it and yet she wagged her tail a couple of flicks. She then put her head down , looked into my face and passed away…..It still chokes me up.

        I had to make NO decision about this. I was her time to go and she just went. It is still a sad memory. I will never forget it or Dusty.

  5. Cavylover says:

    I’m so sick of these ads that pop up right on top of the article.

    1. Stacy says:

      Thank you for saying something!, me to!

    2. RJ says:

      Then stop using Explorer. Use Firefox and add the Add Blocker plug-in (free). You will never see another add or banner ever again.

  6. Patsy says:

    I’ve known for years that this option is available….. I live in a very small town in Wisconsin….maybe it isn’t well known to big cities…. but every time it is “time” I call our local vet and he comes out and does this for us … I agree with you Michael….put the information out there without the “benefit” of the video! By the way…. to the owner of the dog….you shouldn’t have let the dog suffer as long as you did either…. it hurt me worse to see that dog suffering needlessly than it did to watch the vet give the shots. If you have a pet, have the heart and sense to KNOW when its time…don’t put it off for YOUR selfish reason.

    1. Cliff says:

      You think after watching a couple of minute video makes you an expert on what is going on in the life of this person and her dog. I agree, get off of your high horse. People like you are the downfall of this country with your high and mighty opinions. Everyone should conform to your way of life, right??? Go find your own life and quit trying to run other peoples lives. I bet this isn’t the first or last time someone will say that to you!

    2. Anna C says:

      Three weeks ago, our 16 y/o beloved shepherd-mix was in pain. She has several known medical issues and is frequently incontinent of stool, but we have been waiting for her to stop smiling, stop wagging her tail, and stop bouncing in the backyard with our other dog. On these two days, she did none of these.
      We medicated her for pain, held her, let her know that she was loved, and phoned the vet to come over and inject her. It was time.
      The vet was out of town that weekend and would come Tuesday. We were fine with that. Well, by Tuesday, the dog was once again bouncy, smiling, wagging her tail, and eager to be walked! We cancelled the vet’s visit. We know that the time is coming soon, but we’ll know when that is. We are still waiting.
      As we wait, we are not “letting the dog suffer needlessly”. We are not “putting it off for our own selfish reasons”.
      Please don’t judge others’ motives for delaying the death of a beloved family member.

  7. Peggy says:

    Janis: You did the right thing for you and Heather at the right time. God bless you both. What a great way to pass. I still smell Goldie, my son’s Humane Society lab mutt mix that passed over six years ago. The memories of her are winderful. Too bad we can’t treat our humans in the same way.

  8. Victim Du Jour says:

    I had to put a dog down a few years ago and I regret not having him put down at home.

    I can tell he was a little stressed at the pet hospital.

    1. Russ says:

      It probably would be better to have your dog put down at home than at the veterinarian’s. However – what is most important is to always be with your dog when it happens. Don’t let his or her last thought be to wonder where their people have gone off to. I have had to have numerous pets put down (my wife and I adopt older, hard-to-place dogs) and several have had to be put down. I am always there with them. Is it hard? Yes. But it is much easier to live with afterwards.

  9. Steven Lancer says:

    God Bless you and Heather…I firmly believe you will meet her again …

  10. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this story. I had no idea this was an option. Death and dying is always very hard to deal with, human or animal. I know I will be absolutely crushed when my pets die, but am glad this is an option should I need to make the decision some where down the line. I’m sure it would be easier on me, as well as on my animal friends I’m sure, if I could go through this in the privacy of my own home. Thanks for sharing Janis.

  11. Devoided says:

    Wow..based on the numbers in the story Dr. Rebecca McComas is making about $140,400 a year on this service (less about $12 for the drugs and syringe)…and now that will undoubtedly go up…how is this news? I hope WCCO got a good chunk of change from the Dr. or will at least do another story talking about how compassionate the staff can be at the neighborhood vet clinic when it is time to end a friend’s life…

    1. Jim Isaacs says:

      I had to put my cat of 17 years down last October. Fortunately I was able to find a house call service that provided this in home. I knew a trip to the vet would have stressed him out, and I didn’t want that memory to be his last.

      There are many people that do not know that this option is available to them. If only for that reason, I commend this article, although I didn’t and could’nt watch the video.

      When it comes time, please do yourself and your beloved pet the favor of using a service like this.

    2. Elizabeth says:

      The reason it is “news worthy” is that it is a very useful and desired service that is RARE, or at least not well known. It would be the same deal if they did an article on a new restaurant that sold nothing but raw steak that you got from a cow you killed yourself. Yes, it may or may not help the business by getting their name out there, but it is also NEWS.
      Second? The amount of money that a subject makes has nothing to do with determining how newsworthy this kind of story is. This vet is providing a service, and had to become WELL educated with years of schooling and paying for said schooling to provide that service. Don’t begrudge her simply because she has both found something worthwhile to do with her life, AND get paid well for it.

  12. Bobby says:

    Patsy, calm down. Worry about yourself and stop judging others.

  13. Nancy Aleshire says:

    As a devout animal lover and pet owner, I can not believe all the negative comments about this story. First of all, euthanasia is not the same thing as killing an animal. It is the means of allowing a suffering pet to go in means. The term “killing” is a major dis-service to parents of murdered children and those of us (myself included) who had those whose lives were unnecessarily cut short. Euthanasia is the ultimate procedure for someone who truly loves her dog or cat and does not want to see it suffer no longer. They put that above the need of keeping their pets alive for their own experience. Dogs and cats have their way of letting their owners know when it’s time–for me it was when Dino, Kirby, and Prince stopped eating. My heart goes out to Janis, the rest of her family and Heather’s companion dog.

  14. Nancy Aleshire says:

    Correction to the above comment-euthanasia is the means of allowing a suffering pet to go in peace.

  15. katydid says:

    This was a wonderful story. I had no idea there was such an option.

  16. Karen Randall DVM says:

    I too am surprised by all the negative comments. Janis made a very thoughtful and loving decision for her companion. Many pet guardians are unaware that the option of in-home euthanasia exists. It may not be the choice for everyone, but for pets that experience high anxiety at the veterinary hospital, or for pet owners that are looking for a more intimate experience, home euthanasia is a gift. For our pets, home is sanctuary. It is where they feel safe and comfortable. I also provide this service as a part of my veterinary hospice practice and I would like to reply to Devoided’s comments. This story highlighted an option available pet owners and at no point did it suggest that the care provided at a veterinary clinic was anything short of kind and supportive. As far as Dr. McComas’s fees, I would like to point out that as a professional, she isn’t being compensated solely for her supplies (which also include car and fuel), but for her time and expertise. One of the wonderful things about in-home euthanasia is the time it affords. Many home euthanasias that I have performed included the family and friends, stories, poems and memorials. Often an appointment will allow up to 2 hours of a doctor’s time. Her compensation seems fair and appropriate.

    1. Dave says:

      I wish there were Vets in Vegas that would do In home
      euthanasia it certainly would put less stress on an already
      suffering companion

    2. Nancy says:

      Though this story was very hard to watch, it is a day that will come for most responsible pet owners. My dog is almost 16 and I know that my days with him are numbered. It was comforting to see the loving way that this difficult decision was made. I didn’t view this story as “Wow, vets make so much money doing this”, but rather “how wonderful that this service exists for those people who want or need it”. It’s amazing to me how some people can take a nice human interest story about pets and make it about politics or about how a pet is just a pet. It was a lovely story about Janis and Heather and how you cope with the inevitable. My dog freaks out at the vets and it’s good to know that there is another option.

    3. Richard Hervieux says:

      I would love to know just how much the dog was at the vets office and what was done to try to avoid killing it. Do we kill human loved ones as easily? What is wrong with keeping the animal comfortable and nourished ??? Dont tell me they are animals and not humans. My dogs are few steps up the food chain than most people I know

    4. Don R. Ricks says:

      I had to make the difficult, heart wrenching decision a cuople of years ago to have my 10 year old German Shepherd euthanized. I put it off as long as possible, until one morning my buddy who would come running up the back steps to greet me, could no longer rise. Some good friends helped me load him in my wife’s van, and I drove him to the vet clinic. The vererinarian allowed us to maintain our privacy in the van, and I sat in the back of the van with Ruger’s head on my lap as Dr. Coakley administered the meds. I watched the light go out of the gentle giant’s eyes, and cried like a baby. My friend and I brought him to the only home he had ever known and prepared his grave on our farm which would overlook the house. He is buried in a plot which will receive his lifelong mate as Maggie loses her fight with cancer.

      Do I miss him? Every day. Is it difficult to lose these precious friends? Certainly. But I would not have missed out on one minute of the love these family members shared with my wife and children and myself. I also thank God for compassionate professionals who helped us through this.

      1. Amanda says:

        Don–Thank you for sharing your story. YOUR story helps all of us who have made that difficult decision. I think we all need reassurance that we are making the right decision. I have made the decision once, with our 10 year old Sheltie, named Chico, and been through it countless other times with Roscoe, Misty, and Dakotah. I have also been through the discovery that a dog has died on its own with Jake and Chinook. I have also been through my daughter’s best bud, Pepper, getting hit by a car, and her being right there when it happened. No matter how a dog dies, when they are close to your heart, it is a difficult thing to deal with. But it teaches us all about death and loss….something we all have to deal with at one point or another.

  17. Glenn Russell says:

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…

    1. Rex says:

      When we had our dog cremated, this poem was included with his remains. We can only hope that such a place exists. Thanks.

  18. Animal lover says:

    We just got the news that the cancer our loving Lab had, has now spread and there is nothing that can be done. What a horrible day. Then, last night I saw this story on the news and it helped to learn of this option – the idea of a cold, clinical kinds of death when the time comes bothered us. This has helped us to plan ahead and do the best we can for a loving pet; it will be a terrible day when it comes, but we can make it a little better all around now that we know of this option, so thanks you for doing this story. To the critics, why do you read or watch something that clearly warns you of the content and then you complain; you are all adults right? The point was to help and for a lot of us facing this terrible day, it DID help. To the lady in the piece, so sorry for the sadness you must feel but thank you for helping others.

  19. cynthia says:

    The last breath of a dog should not be filmed on ANY pretext. The fact that it was done to sell TV advertising makes it worse.

    1. JamieinMN says:

      Sell TV advertising? Are you dumb or just plain stupid?

    2. tnmccoy says:

      I’m with you.

      1. tnmccoy says:

        I mean I’m with cynthia not Jamie the jerk.

  20. Superchik1017 says:

    What a wonderful story and video. It reminded me to be thankful for our Husky and enjoy him while we have the chance. After we watched this (and dried many tears) we gave our dog a BIG hug and some extra treats and play time. Thank you Janis and Heather fos sharing such a private moment with the rest of us, who need to be reminded how special – and short – our time is with our pets.

  21. Superchik1017 says:

    The dog was not killed. Heather was obviously in a lot of pain. Her owner did the right thing.

  22. Bill says:

    Is this their way of preparing their audience for what will happen to older seniors and the lame when Obamacare kicks into high gear? The US has become a scary place to live for anone with traditional values or a sense of decency.

    1. Superchik1017 says:

      Then leave…

    2. JamieinMN says:

      This has NOTHING to do with politics!!! WHY did you have to bring politics into this?!?!!?!?

    3. Cap says:

      This occurred to me as well. But, at least for this go-round, I believe the American people will stop Obama. It’s the next round that worries me.

  23. JamieinMN says:

    NO thank you. I don’t have the heart to do that.

  24. cynthia says:

    To the people who think killing an animal is good TV, all I can say is: are the faulty ethics of such programming really beyond you?

    1. Dave says:

      What Do YOU want to see on the news MORE stories of
      ghetto trash Pos’es robbing raping and killing
      Id rather have more story’s like this

  25. KipNoxzema says:

    Janis Olsen shouldn’t be telling this to the moms and kids on the six-o-clock news, when families are having dinner.


    1. JamieinMN says:

      Why are you watching TV from the dinner table????

    2. TaaTaa says:

      I agree. Dinner time should be family time. Turn the TV off and spend time with your family and animals.

  26. Superchik1017 says:

    I’m sorry, but did you just write that it was “humane” to shoot your dogs between the eyes when they trusted after you gave them “the best meal of their lives”? Wow! How heartbreaking. I’ve eaten beef that’s been killed more humanely.

    1. JamieinMN says:

      TRULY heartbreaking…just horrible.

    2. Mike says:

      Between the eyes is about the only place to aim with any certainty of actually hitting the brain and ending their suffering quickly which is what this is all about….

      1. thussaiththewalrus says:

        Mike: Your family must think you are just the bee’s knees!

        Ending suffering quickly is what you think this is about! Wow, your wife and kids must so look forward to having a broken leg when you are around. Gosh, getting a migraine would also call for a bullet in the brain!

        Too cheap to do it the right way; a dog who has loved you all of his life and all you can think of is “putting a bullet in his brain.” Wow, what a great big strong male you must picture yourself! UGH!!! I can’t wait for a great big hairy nurse to put an end to your suffering by putting a bullet into your brain (how many shots would she get to hit it since it is so very, very, tiny)?

      2. JamieinMN says:

        No it’s NOT what this is about. This is about in-home euthanasia. Leave your hillbilly thinking out of this.

  27. Steve K says:

    Good Story. It’s about facing life (and the end of a life) on real terms. Hope it was only shown on later newscast as it might be difficult for younger children to understand at this point in their lives…..

  28. MTA says:

    I had to put down a cat (19 years old), our beloved dog (14 years old) and my dear friend, our first horse (27 years old) last year. As hard as it was to lose each member of our family, my vet came to our house to put each one down. It was much better for them and for me. I didn’t have to subject them to another trip to the vet and then leave them there, not knowing where they would go. Our vet takes the pets to a local pet cemetery run by a couple that specialize in this very thing. Although I miss them, I wouldn’t have handled it any other way. I have taken pets to animal hospitals in the past for this service and can only hope that anyone that has to go through this has the choice of home euthanasia.

  29. Mary travers says:

    Read between the lines,people—-wouldn’t this be great and oh so so positive a way to get rid of granny under Obamacare when his govt DENIES her the care/Meds she needs?
    Just a step awY from soylent green with this group—-useless sick pet—useless sick granny—read the Tome! (pun intended)

    1. JamieinMN says:

      Again, this has NOTHING to do with politics…are you that dense?

  30. Pat says:

    I think they need an editor. How embarrassing with all the mistakes.

  31. Marie Popa Nolan says:

    Tears……God Bless You Janis and Heather

  32. Disgusted says:

    Not any good blood & guts auto accidents today? You people are SHAMELESS to air this!

  33. BriR says:

    “I love you so much. Mommy loves you,” said Olson. “You’re so sweet. God bless you. What a little angel you are. You’re a real angel now.”

    Good grief. How about putting some perspective on this? We’re talking about a dog, not a human, being euthanized. I love my dog, but would never refer to myself as “Daddy” or her as an “angel.”

    1. JamieinMN says:

      Everyone views their animals differently. People are DIFFERENT than you….Who wouldathunk?!?!! Idiot.

    2. Becky says:

      Not everyone is as cold as you are, BriR. Leave it alone and let the family grieve in their own way. Open your heart and don’t be overly critical of what others do/say. Perhaps this world wouldn’t be so cruel all the time if we thought about what others go through.

    3. tnmccoy says:

      I agree with Brit. Animal lovers are just using their pets as substitute children. Grow up. And the same for you jerks criticizing BriR. Animals are not children. Even children do not become Angels. Dead people may be angelic, but they do not increase the number of Angels. Angels were created by God at the beginning of time and do not have their numbers increased by human or animal death. I know people love their pets, but they are not children. I cringe whenever I see a scene like that, no matter the circumstances.

  34. Jeff says:

    Most of you commenters are wusses. Just use a bullet, so much cheaper. Why waste the extra money. And one more thing, for those of you who think you are so high and mighty for using the term “euthanasia,” it is still killing something. Don’t try to pretty it up or make yourself feel better by calling it what it isn’t. Just accept that you gotta kill your pet and then move on.

    1. Pet Lover says:

      Let me guess, you are a liberal and voted for Ostupid….err I mena Obama

      1. Jeff says:

        Actually quite the opposite. I just grew up learning to save money whenever you can, and that mankind was given dominion of the creatures of the earth. We are ABOVE them and as such we should accept when its time for them to go. Instead I read comments like Glenn Russell’s that seems to think that animals have souls or Patsy who mourns the death of a dog like it was her husband. IT IS A DOG, not a human being.

  35. Ed says:

    Having had to put 4 of my dogs to sleep in the last four years (they were all 15 years plus and all were rescues) home euthanasia has got to be the most compassionate thing you can do for your best friends. It’s familiar surroundings for them and they are with the ones they love. However the last thing a dog should hear is the sound of a firearm being used to end their life. It may be cost effective, but it’s the ultimate in cruelty. The dog gave you unconditional love in the past, so a vet bill is the least you can do in return.

  36. Pdet Lover says:

    A good story and an excellent idea to have a beloved pet euthanized in a place he or she is comfortable. WE had it done for our last dog and she went very peacefully and quickly.

    Unfortunately there are Vets who find it distatstful and according to them it “is not economically feaseable” for them to send one of their vets to a home. So much for sensitivity. The Barnegat Animal Hospital is the place with this policy annd on top of that they expected to be paid BEFORE the eutanasia was performed. This despite us being a customer for over 2 years and always paying at the time of service (also their policy, no one gets near the door without paying first)

    1. Love My Vet says:

      When a vet leaves his clinic or hospital to do a home euth, he/she is unable to care for 4 or 5 other pets in need that would be seen in the clinic. It IS unfeasible for many veterinarians to leave their practice to do this at home service. It is about as inefficiant as it can get. There are vets in most communities who do ONLY home services and fill thisimportant need.

      The reason vet clinics ask for payment first is because pet owners typically are devastated when they are ready to walk out the door. The LAST thing the vet and his/her staff want for you is to put the pet to sleep, then in your worst moment ask you for money when all you want to do is run to your car and go home and cry. They are doing you a favor by asking for payment first.

      Please do not villify veterinarians and especially the clinic you so tastelessly mentioned in your post. Veterinarians are highly educated, caring and dedicated people who do great deeds every day. They deal with people and pets at their worst, and most do it for less money than they should. You showed true ignorance in your comment, and for that, I am sad for you. I am not a veterinarian, but I feel sorry for any that you encounter.

      1. JamieinMN says:

        I think Pdet Lover just doesn’t like to pay her bills…….let alone PREPAY for something.

  37. sue says:

    We had a dog named Ralph. A big, cuddly wonderful dog. He was only 7 when he died. He ended up having kidney disease and nothing would have helped him. He was so afraid of the vet so we decided to have the vet come to our house . Like the story above, we too had him with his favorite blanket on his favorite chair with all of us around him. I would not do it any other way. He was happy and safe in his own home. I have had to bring dogs to the vet in the past to be put to sleep and it was scary for them . I am glad we had Ralph, our sweet big baby, put to sleep where he was happy.

    1. Barbara says:

      Well said, Sue!

  38. JamieinMN says:

    It’s obvious that some of you have never experienced the true joy of loving a pet. Maybe you yourself are just not as compassionate as I am. Regardless, have some respect for Pete’s sake.

  39. RMT says:

    I wish I would have known about this option available to me when I had to put down our beloved pets. Each time I experienced cold, uncaring vet techs and my pets were always stressed out because we were at the vet hospital. Kudos to WCCO for running such a heart-warming story.

  40. Becky says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Olson family in their time of loss.

  41. Lindsey says:

    What’s Next? Filming Grandma’s last breath? This is utterly distasteful.

  42. Blake says:

    Heather got her five minutes of fame by making a spectacle of a dog’s death. Not cool.

    1. JamieinMN says:

      Hmmm did you even READ the article? The DOG’S name was Heather.

  43. DVM in MN says:

    As a veterinarian, I thought the piece was an accurate depiction of a canine euthanasia whether it is at home or in the clinic. Our clinic offers at home services however the overwhelming majority of euthanasias are performed in the clinic. We do not rush through these appointments as was implied in the article. Every pet is treated with respect and the owners are given ample time to process what is taking place, our clinic staff is solemn during these times and there is never pressure on the owner to move on like we need the exam room for another patient. I do regret the article gave a much different picture of an in clinic euthanasia without any evidence to back up their claim.
    I don’t agree with canine euthanasia being shown on network television. Somehow it seems it should be more private. And whoever crunched the numbers for Dr. M’s salary should take a look at her website and see that $225 is just the lowest price for her array of services.

    1. Cap says:

      Vets have a job to do, but putting down a family pet @ $225 per is silly. I guess there are city folk who have money to spare, but these charges remind me of funeral home salespeople, taking advantage of a families remorse. Like someone said earlier, use a gun and bury Fido on your property. Why bring a stranger into the even?

    2. Dave says:

      not to sound like a prude, I lost 2 companions a
      couple of years ago and the vet did not charge
      for euthanasia , even when my cat coded I was not charged
      for intubation & CPR while I rushed to the office
      But Thank You DVM in MN
      You are over 100% correct and I wouldn’t
      have changed a thing in my decision no regrets here

  44. Another Animal Lover says:

    Thank you WCCO for running this story. I will no longer go to the vet’s office when it is time I know who to call so that my pets will be comfortable and I won’t have to try and drive home after.

    Keep doing the stories no one else will do!

    And yes there is a heaven for pets, why do you think god greated companion animals.

  45. jay says:

    You’ a douch bag – Married couple would agree to have a loved one die in a loving environment (HOSPICE) is the best way to go – Any animal owner would love this………Flip the channel –

  46. Cliff says:

    You are heartless and are taking up too much of our time.

  47. Jim Sandell says:

    No integrity, no class, no perspective, no shame. The wasteland that is televison news continues to devolve in the gutter.

  48. sirjaxx says:

    Will this work on Gramma? As she is Old and gets around like she is in pain. Plus she has my Inheritance held up until she kicks the Bucket.

  49. Sean M says:

    This is all to desensitize us for Democrat health care. They already go killing babies down, now they just need to work on how to get rid of the old grumpy AARPers.

  50. Paul says:

    It’s a great burden to have on your shoulders as to whether to put your trusted companion down or not. I’ve been thru it 3 times with my beloved boxers and it’s never easy. I feel the guilt of having done it even though there wasn’t any chance of them surviving. I just try to go forward knowing I did everything I could for them and gave them the best life possible. Doesn’t take away the guilt, but I just try to focus on the fun times had with them.

  51. Youth in Asia says:

    Get used to it, why do you think this story was done? Under Obama Care this will be humans in 10 years not dogs.

  52. Rex says:

    Several years ago, our Lab mix was hit by a car but survived. Last October, out of the blue, he started have grand mal seizures. Maybe he had a slow-growing tumor or scar tissue caused by the accident in his brain; or maybe he was having liver failure because of the Rimadyl that he took for pain; we’ll never know. We tried every vet-recommended remedy, but his seizures gradually became longer, more violent, and more frequent. The kindest but most difficult thing we ever did for him was to have the vet come to our home and put him to sleep. He was in familiar surroundings with people he loved and who loved him. I was able to pet him and reassure him as he entered eternal sleep. I never thought I would do such a thing, but we had him cremated and now have his remains in a beautiful cedar box. I would never have disrespected my dog by broadcasting his last moments. How crass.

  53. Hank Warren says:

    This is all about limiting Free Speech. After all, censorship is everywhere. The gov’t (and their big business cronies) censor free speech, shut down dissent and ban the book “America Deceived II”. Free speech for all.
    Last link (before Google Books bans it also]:

  54. Mike says:

    While I don’t think showing it on TV was appropriate, addressing the issue and encouraging an “at home” option is most welcome. It sucks bad enough being finally forced into realizing that, no matter what you do – you’re going to blame yourself for it later anyway so it’s time to be pragmatic. But on top of that, the thought of taking your dog to the vet to be euthanized has you instantly wondering about the ‘after’ part. You’ll be offered the option of having them take care of the body, (envision yourself walking back out empty handed), or the extremely awkward option of retaining the body to take back home with you to bury in the back yard – and that’s what my kids wanted. “At home” makes that second option an easy choice. I wish I had that option myself.

  55. Fred says:

    Probably not appropriate to kill a dog on TV.

  56. Brandon says:

    Wow. i must say i, for one, am happy to have been made aware of this option and also commend WCCO, Janis, and Dr. McComas for bringing to the public’s attention in this manner. I cannot imagine a more dignified and respectful way to do this. My sister just had to put down her horse – this story brought those tears out for me.

  57. thussaiththewalrus says:

    Jester: YOU do NOT speak for ALL “farm” families!!! In fact, I doubt that you have a farm at all. Farmers respect their animals and you do not!

    BriR: You have an odd definition of “love” and it does not fit with most folks notion of love for animals.

    Jeff: You have no compassion; I feel sorry for your family. You will never be able to comfort your children and that is the saddest condition of all!!!

    Mary travers: Are you unaware that euthanasia has been practiced for YEARS? Doctors consider the quality of a person’s life and make decisions as to further care. Do you not understand what it means when “folks are sent home to die?” Did you completely miss the message from JFK Jr. when he stood outside his mother’s New York CIty apartment (after announcing Jackie O’s death) when he said, “My mother died in her own time, and in her own way!”

    Please do not think that “euthanasia” is something new with Obama. I began working in a teaching hospital in 1968 and I learned first hand how doctors are taught to “care” for their patients (and that does NOT include keeping them alive at all cost).

    1. Jeff says:

      Well Mr. Walrus I am sure glad you know anything at all about my “compassion.” I have compassion for…wait for it…PEOPLE. How dare you insult my family and I. Just because I don’t think the death of an animal is something to go into depression over, doesn’t mean I don’t have the ability to comfort those close to me. I hope to instill better common sense into my kids than act like an animal is actually a “member of the family.” Do not blur the line between a person and a pet. Putting your dog down is a far cry from comforting your child.

  58. t! says:

    good god, let the poor animals die naturally! Just because they inconvenience you doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to be old for as long as they can..

    1. JamieinMN says:

      If I were suffering, in pain and there was NO chance of getting any better, I would ask somebody to kill me, Assisted Suicide. You obviously, have not suffered a great deal. You have NO IDEA what it’s like to be in constant pain, not knowing if you’re going to get better.

  59. Linda Johnson says:

    I love my pets. I have had to put animals down in the past and it was devastating. I agree it is hard on them going to the vet, but our vet has always been compasionte and caring. We go to Centry Animal clinic. The vet actually laid on the floor with our golden to give him his shots. . As much as I love my animals i do not want to have them pass away at home. I can not imagine having that image every time i got by that spot in the house. Its bad enough not hearing the big tail banging against the door, or going by the empty couch which used to be his big dog bed.. T each their own.

  60. thussaitthewalrus says:


    A dog that “screams in pain” just trying to get up to go out to relieve himself is HEART-BREAKING! No humane human can allow such suffering in a trusted animal.

    You have the compassion of a rock!

    Try reading the Bible! It explains our duty to the animals who serve us!

    1. JamieinMN says:

      I believe bone cancer is VERY painful. An old classmate of mine committed suicide because she couldn’t handle the pain anymore. I believe if Assisted Suicide was in place, this world just might be a happier place.

  61. Frank James says:

    Jerk! Have you ever had to put a loved pet to sleep for the last time because they are in pain, these pets are family. I am glad that this was brought to my attention now I will know how to handle my pets last day. Her decision is one of the hardest decision a pet owner can make, I have had to make that decision and I cried for days, for your information I am 6’0” at 210lbs man.

  62. Marge says:

    This is not a great story as some of you seem to think. There is nothing great about death. It is the end for every form of life, including humans [nothwithstanding that some of you believe in the hereafter or think you are immortal].

    Do you think that any animal, suffering pain, would say yes if you asked that animal if he wanted his life ended.

    I’m sick of people who think that their life is more important than those of any animal. Every living being’s life is just as important to him as it is to another sentient being.

  63. Larz Blackman says:

    It’s very sad when a dog is euthanized — like losing a child — but maybe this will remind people to SPAY AND NEUTER!

    1. Jason says:


      Like losing a child? You have got to be kidding me. I love my dog VERY much, but no way to compare the two.

      1. JamieinMN says:

        Yea YOU cannot compare the two. Everyone is different than you JASON!

        1. Jason says:

          You are right Jamie, everyone is different and they are certainly entitled to their opinion. I personally think it is sad that people would compare an animals life to a child’s life. In my humble opinion that means that you either don’t love your child enough or you love your dog too much.

          1. JamieinMN says:

            Why can’t we love them equally?

          2. JamieinMN says:

            Did you ever think that MAYBE a pet is all someone has. Not everyone has a family. Of course, you wouldn’t know that…you’re too ignorant in your ways. You think everyone should live by your standards, views, and opinions.

            1. Jason says:

              Ok, let me try to reply to your emotional outburst in two parts:

              “Why can’t we love them equally?”

              I think you can love them equally, but I would hope that someone who loses a child would be more affected by the loss of their own flesh and blood than their pet. I am not dismissing the fact that it is extremely difficult to lose an animal. Please don’t twist my words.

              “Did you ever think that MAYBE a pet is all someone has. Not everyone has a family. Of course, you wouldn’t know that…you’re too ignorant in your ways. You think everyone should live by your standards, views, and opinions.”

              Do you not have a family? Is your pet the only thing you have? If so, I am really sorry that I hurt your feelings. On the other hand, I am not sure what I said that sent you off the deep end. I simply stated my opinion. I did not attempt to force it on you by any stretch of the imagination.

              Let me quote myself:

              “In my humble opinion that means that………..”

              1. JamieinMN says:

                Ha an outburst??? Hardly. I have a wonderful, loving family, but someday they will all be gone and I may be left alone. Your statement that you made was very disheartening, and it seems you have no respect for someone who feels emotional pain differently than you.

                1. Jason says:

                  Come on, you know you were upset when you typed that (hence the capital letters). It’s ok.

                  I am really happy you have a great family. Just because I don’t agree with someone does not mean that I don’t have respect for them.

                  In regards to the video that has provided you and I the opportunity to have such a brilliant conversation………… I could not watch it.

                2. JamieinMN says:

                  Oh I’m sorry, this must be your first time exploring the Interwebs. Because someone TYPES IN ALL CAPS does not mean that they’re “going off the deep end” or that they’re having an “emotional outburst”. You were BEING disrespectful and I think you could’ve just went merrily along and not said anything at all.

                3. Jason says:

                  Oh boy.

                4. John says:

                  Hey JamieinLALALand,

                  Time to give it a rest…..Maybe go to a chat room for over sensitive pet owners? Vs. Spending most of your day annoying others on this comment board!

                5. Jason says:

                  John, you are really not being sensitive or paying any respect to Jaime. It’s obvious that you are trying to force your opinion on her because of your ignorance…… Ha!

                6. Jack says:

                  Ignorance eh…..Respect would mean allowing others to chime in on this comment section…..Make your voice heard and move on…..Really…who’s name shows up most from top to bottom on this list of comments?! Who’s not being sensitive or respectful when this Jamie is rebutting numerous comments? Jamie needs to get a hobby….Or maybe this is her hobby

      2. iluvmydog says:

        There are dog owners and dog lovers, we love our dog. My dog went with me every time I went to visit my dad in the nursing home. The smiles and laughs we had together bring a tear to my eye everytime I think about it. My pet was with me the last time I saw my dad alive. Now she visits my mom with me and brings a smile to everyone she meets. Do I love my dog as much as my kids. Pretty darn close….. I’m a 58 year old guy.

    2. CJ says:

      Larz– “like losing a child?” Gimmie a break! Have you ever lost a child? If you had to choose between the life of a child and the life of a pet, are you saying that there is some inner turmoil or real indecision here? My friend is currently watching her daughter die in hospice. I think that she would trade every dog on this earth if it meant her daughter could live… Wow.

  64. tubaman says:

    The whole point of this article is”see,euthanasia isn’t so bad.Just give old grandma or grandpa a shot and they won’t bother anybody anymore.”Wise up people.This is what will happen eventually in this country if Obamacare isn’t repealed.

  65. Janet says:

    I agree….How horrible to show the killing of a dog on T.V. I sure wouldn’t be watching….Too disturbing…

  66. FalloftheRepublic says:

    This is all jsut to soften you up into killing Grandma and Grandpa. Condition you into euthanizing the old, Just like the Fabian’s want.

  67. Peter Tieschman says:

    Thank you Amelia for reporting this story and thank you Janis Olson for enlightening us to this process. I don’t live in Minnesota so I’ll have to find a vet in my area that will do this, but when the sad day comes having it done at home will make it less emotionally painful, and more importantly it has to be less traumatic for our beloved pets if it’s possible to do it this way.

  68. Lynn Betts says:

    It takes a lot of courage to be a responsible and caring dog owner. To stand by and let a beloved pet suffer is selfish and unkind to the animal. This owner was compassionate and loving, giving her pet the best care an owner can possibly give. Anyone who has owned a pet will go through the grief of losing it eventually and it hurts. My sympathy to her and support in her loving decision. More owners should be so loving.

  69. Greg says:

    Mary, sorry you have obviously never owned a pet before, and if you did, you obviously didn’t care very much about it. I’d spend time answering your questions but your not worth my time. I am a vet and at home euthanasia is probably one of the most humane ways we can help families through this process. Let us know when you get a heart!

  70. KBakko says:

    You’re a jerk!

  71. Andy McDonald says:

    That story brought back a flood of emotions. A year ago we said goodbye to our two Chocolate Labs, We got the brother and sister together. They grew up together, kept each other company and got old together. The girl suffered significant mobility issues the last couple of years and her brother grew deaf and then had failing eyesight.

    We made the painful decision that it was time to say goodbye and hated the idea of taking them to a vet’s office with the unfamiliar surroundings and bustle that inevitably surrounds a place like that, Instead we scheduled a home visit from a vet.

    My wife held the girl in her arms while I had the boy. They were relaxed and drifted off peacefully in their own home. Just the way I would prefer to go.

    They gave us 16 years of love and companionship. They deserved the most consideration and comfort we could give them.

    Eight months passed and my wife came home with a young Chocolate Lab from a rescue. “Here’s you Christmas present for the next 15 years” she said with a smile. Although I know that a pet never lives long enough, I’m looking forward to those next 15 years,

  72. Gail says:

    This story has me weeping. I had to put my cat Bud, who had leukemia,down in 1993 and it was one of the worst days of my life. I waited too long, until he was doing nothing but lying there, suffering needlessly. My dog Sam died of lymphosarcoma just this past November and in spite of my good intentions not to wait too long this time, I did, and Sam died on his own at our home, in the spot where he liked to look over “his” property. I’m not sure which time I did better; both were heart-wrenching. I can’t watch the video.

  73. mark from says:

    My families heart goes out to you, we did this and it truly was like the loss of a child.

  74. ascchicago says:

    My husband and I chose in-home euthanasia for our dog when it was her time to go. She began having terrible seizures and had to be carried up and down the stairs of our fourth-floor walk-up to go outside (she was 50 pounds). After about a month, the seizures got worse and worse and our vet said that, at age 13, it was her time to go. Knowing that she was comfortable in her dog bed with us at her side, holding her paws, was the best ending I could give her.

  75. precious rambo says:

    chickens and squab make great pets because you can enjoy them in so many ways thus avoiding the worry of them becoming “too old”

  76. Steve says:

    Why not have a decomp cam or cremation cam, if you are only showing this part of death? Death doesn’t end with the peaceful slipping away you want people to think happens. It gets disgusting, and you are hiding it by hiding the entire story. So go glorify death and your “choice” and ignore the ugly parts about it.

  77. rob lambkin says:

    An extremely poor choice of WCCO to show this clip at the noon hr.It is a poor choice to show anytime but at least at 10:00pm young children are in bed so they don’t have to see where the kitty really went when you said it was Heaven.Did you hope to improve ratings or just depress pet owners?

  78. ro says:

    Oh yeah the culture of death that exists in western european socialist democracies. coming soon to an older person in your family. I guess you have to be more “ENGLIGHTENED” to appreciate this nonsense. I have to put a golden retriever down when he was 2 1/2 years old because of a stroke. Every body knows what this is and how it sucks. No need to make a news story out of it

  79. John C says:

    Why is euthanasia by leathal injectioin “humane”, but when used for capital punishment it’s called cruel?

    1. JamieinMN says:

      I don’t believe that Capital Punishment is cruel. DO NOT assume that we all feel that way.

  80. tnmccoy says:

    This euthanasia should never be done at home, only in the vet’s office or pound. You claim to want dignity for your pet, but you put it’s death on video? If you’re going to respect the lives of pets, then you must respect and dignify their deaths wherever possible.

  81. tnmccoy says:

    When someone is killing you, does it make much of difference where it happens? It should. A pet should not have it’s last breath drawn in a place of life. Leave it to the Vet.

  82. Eric Ross says:

    Wait until the Death Panel debuts the first euthanasia of our disabled parents and grandparents on Network TV 🙂

  83. Kazabud1 says:

    I had a 16 lbs dog. She was a great friend for 5 yrs. She had siezures also. I just took her out back with my 30 30. One shot to the head and it was over. She suffers no more. Im also a former Marine. Tho I still miss her awfully, shes not suffering anymore.

  84. lisa says:

    So so hard to lose a pet. My sister had to take her beloved kitty to be put to sleep. And on the way to the vet he died in her arms. She felt like it was a blessing, not having to actually make the choice.
    We have a 13 year old lab and we are dreading the day he goes. Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. We got him one month after my son started kindergarten and my son graduates high school in May. They grew up together.

  85. Ron Gavin says:

    I’m sure the dog is much better off now that it doesn’t have to put up with that horrendous carpeting.

  86. bob says:

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to
    Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all our special friends so they can run
    and play together. There is plenty of food, water, and sunshine, and our friends are
    warm and comfortable.
    All the animals who have been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who
    were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in
    our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for
    one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left
    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks
    into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he
    begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster
    and faster.
    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling
    together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your
    face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the
    trusting eyes of your pet so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
    Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together….
    —-author unknown

    1. Robyn says:

      Thank you Bob .

  87. Dennis in Ohio says:

    I found thiis video and story quite comforting. We had a wonderful pet cockapoo for 17 years but there comes a time when the dog’s misery demands you do something to put it at peace – why should they suffer needlessly? I would have taken this home route if it was available. We took our dog to the vet – it was traumatic for the whole family and we left on a vacation right from dropping off the dog so we would not have to go back the house right away. Now 25 years later, we have only good memories of Skippy and comfort knowing we did the right thing by him. If you are going to have pets, you will all go through this at one time or another. Every time we have even a cat die, I still get very sad but this goes with the territory of welcoming a pet into your life.

  88. Charles says:

    I am very appreciative of both the article and the video. I can’t find fault with either, and I can’t understand how anyone can.

    Because of the short life span of a dog, we dog owners must accept the fact that our dogs will more than likely die before we do. Choosing to ease their severe pain by putting them to sleep is a difficult choice, but is in the dog’s best interest. Having it done at home is a wonderful and loving thing to do. It’s a great option, and our family is going to do just that when it’s time to tell our two dogs “Goodbye”.

  89. Nate says:

    Did you know that euthanasia iis now approved for human newborns?

  90. Douglas Sharp says:

    The next 2 events in Minn are Sharia Law and euthanizing Grandma at home!

  91. I did not have a pet until I was over 50. I did not get the whole love a pet thing. To me, they were dumb.

    I got married and my new wife insisted on a dog. Now, 4 years later, if anything happened to Daisy, I don’t know what I would do. Watching this video broke my heart in a way that a few years ago, I could not imagine.

    This was a service to pet owners. The lady in the video was a rational human with a great love for her companion. I am grateful for this.

  92. Richard Barton says:

    This part of the story I can relate to: “Honestly, I hope she’s, I pray that she’s gone when I come home,” Olson told us last month. “I don’t want her to suffer, and I don’t want to. I’m being chicken. I don’t want to make the call.”

    I had an old dog I just couldn’t bring myself to put to sleep, and I just kept putting it off. I came home one day and he was gone. I’ll always regret and feel badly that I let him die alone. Never again!

  93. Eileen b says:

    My kitty Jo died in my arms at 18. HEr uremic seizures were horrible and haunt me because I was too selfish to let go when apporpriate. WHen her sister Ivy, at 22, could no longer stand, I had to do the right thing. Jo, Ivy, Puff, Spunky, ROsie and QL all wait for me at the rainbow bridge. I still wish I’d made it easier on JO.

  94. Drew says:

    When can we have tis owner put down?

  95. PrairieHawk says:

    I used to work at a busy animal shelter and have helped put down my share of dogs and cats. I did not watch the video, as I have seen enough of that sort of thing, but I can tell you what you will see. The chemicals work very quickly and the dog is there one moment, gone the next.

    If you’re troubled by death, still grieving a pet, or otherwise vulnerable, then don’t watch. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in; I hope my beagle one day dies of natural causes before I have to take this step. It is my prayer that Ms. Olson be able to move on.

  96. Mary Shelley says:

    If you don’t love animals, fine! Don’t get one; please don’t get one. You would probably dump a pet for the slightest infraction or inconvenience. Domestic animals feel hunger, pain & loneliness just as you do. You have no right to criticize others who respond to their pets’ unconditional love. No one on this board ever said they value an animal’s life over a child’s. Only a very small heart would be incapable of loving both. I’m disgusted by trolls who delight in attacking strangers who are moved by articles involving the death or suffering of a defenseless animal.

  97. Johnny McEgglesworth says:

    I like to eat food.

  98. Wayne says:

    It’s all about ratings. Killing a do on the air might boost them.

  99. JamiesMominMN says:

    Hey JamieinMN….Time to get out of your undies, get out of the basement and get a life…..Their next story will be on comment obsessed goofs like you!

  100. Lindell says:

    For those of us who have had the sad experience of putting a loved pet down this report brought back sad and painful memories. The grieving process of losing a pet is quite similar to that of losing a family member. And the decision to end the life of a pet, is not easy and usually takes months of convincing yourself that it truly is the right thing to do. Holding your pet, crying, and wondering if you’ve made the right decision, while life drains from their body is an experience you will never forget. This report could have been just as effect without displaying the actual death of the dog. But the media knows what brings in viewers and their only real concerns are ratings and profits. Bottom line; this was just another ‘self-service’ (WCCO) clothed as ‘public-service’.

  101. ScrolledRanger says:

    I lost my two Huskies last summer, three weeks apart. They were 13 and 12 years old, and they were my kids. One was euthanized at my home (he was lame and it would’ve hurt him to be put in the car) and the other at the vet (she had advanced lymphoma, but could still walk and ride). I cried when I read the article, and I will not watch the video. Many of you posting here are compassionate….many of you are doorknobs!

  102. John says:

    CCO….You feel stories like this one are cutting edge and progressive? Your intentions may have been noble here….but just because a story feels good….Doesn’t make it right to air as a prime-time news story.

    It simply proves that today’s media rarely goes past stage one thinking….Journalism today is less about presenting the truth straight down the center vs. Promoting an ideology and then airing stories that neatly fit into that model.

    This story would have been better served if it was a piece on your website. It would have been just as relevant…vs. stirring up painful memories for those who have had to put their pets down.

  103. MW33 says:

    I don’t know what to think of this story. I know I would not show such a personal thing on TV. For the rest of you, your vet will come to your house, you just need to ask.

  104. Trollin McTroller says:

    I can haz doggieburger?

  105. Neal says:

    The comments here make me sad for human beings and not the pets. There is a lot of disrespect and hate.

  106. Mike says:

    I’ve gone through this with 3 animals, all lived to a ripe old age. If you can’t deal with this part of caring for your pet maturely, you shouldn’t have a pet. And on a seperate note, please ignore the trolls.

  107. JameinMN says:


  108. Dave C says:

    In my life I have had to have two cats put down. Both occured in the vets office. I was the saddest decision that I have ever made but my babies were suffering. With time the distinction as pet fades and little fur companion takes over. I loved those cats as if they had been my children.
    I still grieve x

  109. mw says:

    Pets now Grandma later

  110. DeadisDead says:

    Putting out a Quarter for a .22 long rifle bullet is a lot cheaper. If you are a little off target and you a have a semi-automatic, then another dollars worth will get the job done.

  111. mojo says:

    I’ve been through this so many times. It is my wish to outlive all of my “kids”, rather than see them possibly end up homeless. The story mentioned many people having pets instead of kids. What irks me is that I can’t get any tax breaks for my pets. It’s bad enough to struggle from one payday to the next, and still have to pay a small amount on top of that each year at tax time.

  112. John Yoo says:

    I completely understand having love & compassion for your pets which fill that void of not having a close one by your side in certain circumstances. But I’ve found pet lovers to place more importance in there pets than on actual human life which is much more sacred than a dog. Also buying into these so called “procedures” offered by vets are merely a ploy to extract as much capital out of you in the short lifetime of your pet.
    I’d say we humans procreate more and cherish the lives of children and worry about eugenics programs and the like which have been wiping out your culture and livelyhood since the late 1800s.

  113. Jon Weiss says:

    I have owned several pets, and some have died of natural causes, others needed to be put down. If you cannot handle ALL of the aspects of owning the pet, you have no business having one at all. I shed tears at the loss of every pet I have had. But unless they died of natural causes, I made the decision and I took part in their passing, I did not pass it off to someone else.

  114. Barrack Obama says:

    It was just a dog, right? Don’t you watch the news? Horrible, indescribable things happen to people on a daily basis. Lets put things in perspective. Besides, it is George Bush’s fault.

  115. Chip says:

    My beloved Irish Setter Chase passed nearly 10 years ago. He was just over 16 years old and his health started to rapidly decline. He couldn’t stand up for more than 10-15 minutes and had difficulty just getting up. He was a wonderful gentle soul who I prayed would gently pass in his sleep. But the time came that he had many more bad days than good and needed to finally rest peacefully. I brought him into the vet to be put to sleep, but later found out that there are services like this that come to your home. The vet office was wonderful, but I felt bad bringing him out after wards in front of all the other owners with their pets. The vet staff even sent us card later that week. There was no need for me to view the video as just reading about it brought back many memories. Chase is buried out back in the yard and I think of him every time I see the cherry blossom bush he is buried next to. The video is perhaps good for those who do not how the process is administered. All the vets and their staff are very compassionate and understanding. From talking with many owners of pets, they too were very emotional regardless of how old they were or how hardened they were by life. Pets just seem to have a way of getting into your soul and bringing out the soft side of you whether you want to or not.

  116. Luke Canning says:

    Shame on you, CBS Minnesota for “glorifying” animal deaths by video-taping one. You could have done this story and educated the public about their options without video-taping such a sensitive event for so many people.

    This is the liberal media at its worst – godless, heartless, and arrogant to the end. This is what happens when you have no god – you have no respect for the dignity of life of any kind. I’m sure you’ll all gladly submit to the taping of your own assisted suicides for “educational purposes” when the time comes. Maybe they can have announcers for each of you when they stick the needle in! You’re all sick.

    1. Donald Duck says:

      Luke you need to understand the difference between human and animals.

  117. JMB says:

    I’m not a pet lover, but this is a heartbreaking story, and some of you need therapy.

    In 20 years, you’ll be able to call some local agency, and they’ll come out to your home and put granny down and haul her off to be turned into Soylent Green.

  118. Jonnie says:

    I see Heather romping in green meadows with my beloved pit, rat terrier & 5 beautiful felines — all of whom were put down while in my embrace. Thank you Ms. Olson for pardoning a doomed sentient creature and devoting 17 years of your life in providing her with the gift of human kindness, love and compassion.

  119. Donald Duck says:

    It just a damn dog people. Alot of stupid people care more for animals than they do human beings. You people need a wake up call. Take the animal out to the tree line and shoot it before you waste your money giving it to a VET.

  120. foster VonKeet says:

    Reading this (I didn’t watch the video) brought me to tears remembering when I was too selfish to stop the pain of our beloved little Sheltie.
    Now I realize the cost of my temporary reprieve from the inevitable, a few days of false relief for me, a few days of continued agony for her.
    It will break your heart but when the time comes, do it. You’ll know when the time is right, even if you don’t want to admit it to yourself.
    The regret of inaction lasts a lot longer than the pain of doing what you know in your heart is right.

  121. CJ says:

    Living on a rural farm (near a highway) we seldom had enough time to get emotionally attached to pets. When one was badly injured by a car or other livestock, my dad or I would put the animals down. Not an enjoyable job, but easier if you don’t view them as “family.” We didn’t have any drugs or needles for it, but a fatal injection of lead in the appropriate place is also a merciful way to end an animal’s suffering quickly. I realize many of you will object to this as barbaric, but $225 is too expensive compared to a few cents for a .22 bullet…

  122. chillycat88 says:

    So the dog was fine, just older, not suffering, still a wonderful part of the family….she just decided to murder it for no apparent reason other than she got some media for it…real nice…

  123. Carla Andersen says:

    As a farmer, a patient care provider, multiple animal parent and now an animal clergy student, I think a meaningful, sacred, special euthanasia and funeral at home surrounded by loving animals and loving people is the the highest example of humanity, devotion and love.

  124. Ann DeBlaey says:

    My husband and I have been doing this at our home forever. I can’t see the travel time and then coming home and then have to deal with the burial. Its done all at once at home. I just think that doing it in the office is cold. This is a family member. Let them have there last moments in a familar place.

  125. John says:

    Why do you make this public. You are crazy. I had a ‘friend’ that sadly a 8 months ago, I had to say good bye. It’s a personal experience and loss. How dare you publicize yourself and make his life so meaningless to make yourself feel good. It’s life. And sadly saying good bye is part of it. Cherish the memory , move on and do not do this again !!

  126. Michael Beall says:

    As a former beagle-raiser and lover, the decision to kill (“PUT DOWN? Come on ) a living animal was always hard;but people are weak. Not the animal. City folk have a tendency to personalize animals and many have relational problems with other adults in their lives that complicate their ability. Do the right thing. But dont turn this into a melodrama as if a human was being put to death.

  127. Robert Hamis says:

    This story actually made me gasp in shock, dismay, and intense sadness, and anger. I’m going to be as polite as I can and simply ask “what is wrong with you people?” I didn’t even watch the video and I feel sick. Actually literally sick. I think what you have done is inhumane, cruel, and irresponsible.

    If I weren’t so saddened and angry right now, I would construct a better response. But the bottom line is what you’ve done is wrong and disgusting.

  128. Caustic_Commoner says:

    A GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE: Today, it’s the aged pet; and I’m not arguing against that. But one day, not so far in the future, it will be the old people doctors make house calls to euthanize. Consider the same video with granny saying good-bye, surrounded by family and well-wishers. She breathes her last and the wake begins. Everyone stands around before she is driven off to the mortuary and talks about how natural she looks and how humane the whole experience was.

  129. rocketman says:

    most worthless stupid story ever. sure I love pets, but give me a break. the poor dog was in so much pain, I think it was cruel that the lady had to wait until “she” could handle it. poor judgement on both, wcco and the dog owner.

  130. Mal says:

    Not too different than the way my family did it. Exept no vets in the area. Take the dog to their favorite place, pet them, love on them and put a bullet in the back of it’s head. More humane than a stranger.

  131. Larry says:

    When it was time to put my beloved Lady to sleep, I took her to the vet, I made the decision to be with her as the drugs were administered. I held Lady as they injected the drugs, crying uncontrolably, as I looked down at her, with her last dying strength she raised up licked my face as to say it was alright and passed. With that little gesture, me, the nurse and the doctor all cried.

  132. Chantellerenee says:

    The Most Loving Final Gift One Can Give Their Pet Is To Help Them Cross Over!!
    In this life of mine,I have had to say goodby to 6 pet’s through
    euthanasia and the 7th one was just last week. My Beautiful British Blue was failing from Cancer and the kindest gift I could give him was to forever memove his pain. I too won’t watch the vid, there is just no need, been there – done that.
    However, I feel it really would be nice if when I we were ready to go, and if we were languishing in pain weak and feeble, that as human’s we would be aloud to just cross over pain free.I yearn to be treated just like my fur babies were… with love! I don’t fear death, just the pain getting there!!!

  133. Jennifer says:

    I totally relate to this article. I just had to put my 16 year old dog down a couple of months ago. It was such a painful experience. But I did have the vet come to the house, and it was worth every penny. I can’t imagine my sweet dog having to spend his last few moments in a vets office. He had such a will to live, and I know there are people who thought I should have put him down long before I did. But they did not understand my dog. It was a very tough time, because I did not want to put him down for my sake, just to make it easier on me. I wanted to do it for his sake, when he was ready. His legs were very weak, he would sometimes collapse and he was completely incontinent, but he still wanted to go places and be a part of things. He was unfazed by the fact that he was losing control of his body. But when he could no longer walk let alone stand, I knew it was over, and it was only until then that he was truly ready to go. He went peacefully at home, was completely comfortable, and I would not have had it any other way. I buried him in the field outside my house and am so grateful that he is still nearby. The whole ordeal was so hard to go through. I miss him every day and am so grateful for the time I had with him. He taught me so much.

    1. Patsy says:

      Beautiful!!! Jennifer, thank you for adding this…. and even tho some think I need help for still missing my dog after 3 years…. I still am…as I am sure you are… just know you did the right thing, you knew when it was time… I can only hope that more people can figure that part out, to know WHEN and not let them suffer needlessly.

  134. Patsy says:

    Well, I thought I made it clear that I walked into the living room, heard the word “dog story” and stopped to watch…must have missed the “warning” that it was going to be disturbing….or I may have walked away, but didn’t realize, cuz I came in the middle of the story…. and I also thought I made it clear that what disturbed me most was the purpose of letting people know this option was available… could have been aired without the benefit of the video… thats it in a nutshell and for those of you who didn’t get that, I’m sorry I ruffled your feathers.

  135. carol says:

    I have put many dogs and cats down over the years. They bring joy and sometimes way to much work. The worst time is to put them down. I put one down a week ago today. I am waiting to go pick up her remains so that I can burry her with her sister we lost in December. My heart is with anyone who looses a pet also know as children with fur.

  136. carol update. says:

    Ok just watched the video looked peaceful to me – I have put most of our animals down here at our house and that brings comfort and peace. Birth and death are a part of life. One dog we put down the grand kids were with us at the holiday time and it was so special to have the kids hold my Ginger and it was their choice to do so. When we brought her ashes home she wanted to see them and we talked about the ashes to ashes and dust to dust – this is all a part of life for every breathing thing.

  137. Animal Lover says:

    Wow, 299 posts. Shows how much people love their dogs. I lost my Jacky boy a few years ago and it was one of the hardest parts of my life. Jack was my best friend. First thing I saw in the morning and the last thing I saw at night was my dog. Nobody loves you like a well treated dog.

    Janis you will get another dog and it will help but you always rememeber the first one. Take care.

  138. Janet says:

    I am so comforted by so many of the stories of love & dedication. I just lost my “ANGEL” on Feb. 18th..This was the third for me at home. I’m surprised people are not aware of this option. I have a wonderful vet..My other dog crossed the bridge in 2004. I cannot imagine having it in a clinical setting on a cold table. She passed in my arms with all the love she gave me in her special home. I rescued her in 2004 as a memorial to the others I had lost. She will always be part of me..a special part..

  139. HAVE A HEART says:

    For all those people that lack compassion – She did not do this to be cruel. She did this for her dog. SHE believed it was best. HER intentions were honourable. THATS IT. Whether or not you agree wiht her decision, it doesn’t matter. It was not youre decision to make. SHE DID THE BEST SHE COULD. If and when you are in the same situation, I hope you have the heart to do what is best – no matter what it is ( even putting a dog to sleep) … Instead of watching him/her wither away. HAVE A HEART

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  142. Dave Anderson says:

    As sad as pet euthanasia is, I think it is a good idea to do it at home. This is a place where the pets are comfortable. I also like how the doctor said at home isn’t as fast paced s in an office. It would be comforting to slowly say goodbye to my pet when it was time.