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 Who should be present?

    This can be a very personable event with just you there or the entire family, extended family, friends, children, other pets — whom ever you wish can be present. We can help all involved have a very positive experience and celebrate a life that has been such a part of your everyday. 

 - Should children be present?

    The death of a family pet is often the first death experience many children

encounter. Children have very special relationships with their pets and we believe they should be present, but that is entirely up to your discretion as every situation is different and as a parent or caregiver, you know your child best and should make the ultimate decision. We will spend extra time prior to the euthanasia explaining what is happening in a way children will be able to understand. We will be honored to answer their questions directly if you desire. Children experience grief differently than adults. River Valley Gateway requires training for employees in this area so that we can be sensitive to the needs of children during these situations. We will offer special gestures of remembrance to leave with each child that is present. 

- Should my other pet(s) be present?

Yes, if you wish other pets to be present we welcome them. Each pet grieves differently also, so we discourage having expectations for them to do certain things. We believe everyone should be present at some, if even only a small portion, of the service including all the household pets.