Omaha business provides customized end-of-life pet care

By on April 28, 2014

Recently, we profiled one of our Pet Partners, Paws to Angels. Cherie Fry helps pet owners with, among other things,  end-of-life care and memorial services for pets. In the same realm of thinking, another Omaha business is treating pets and owners with custom care, in-home service and support when the inevitable and often traumatic time comes.

Road to Home provides in-home end of life care for people’s pets. Adam Carter is an experienced veterinarian who, with his brother Heath, started Road to Home as an alternative to traditional pet euthanasia.

In the past, “putting an animal down” went like this: One visits one’s veterinarian, receives news that the end is near, then sets up an appointment with the vet to administer a life-ending shot in the vet’s office. Road to Home offers an alternative to this traditional procedure.

“We offer specialized, in-home care to owners for their pets in end-of-life stages. We look to maximize comfort and convenience while lessening the pain, both physical and emotional, that is present at such a difficult time. This will be accomplished through location based services that act to bring these options to a familiar environment, conducive to a feeling of well being and an emotionally positive experience,” says Dr. Carter.

Adam became a bit apathetic towards traditional end-of-life care after working in various veterinary clinics around the country and had an idea- Why not provide in-home and location-based services where pets and owners would be more comfortable and sympathetic? The brothers Carter first started to explore the idea of this type of business in 2012 and launched Road to Home in October of 2013.

“Countless experiences with traditional euthanasia performed in the clinic convinced us of how desperately people wish to avoid taking their pets out of the home for their last moments,” Adam says. Often, the sterile environment of a vet’s office doesn’t “feel right” for pet owners and Road to Home sought to make the event a little less impersonal and more customized.

Dr. Carter was born in Kansas City MO, grew up in Detroit, Michigan until age ten, and then lived in South Dakota through middle school and high school. After that, he went to St. John’s in Minnesota for undergraduate school, then to Kansas State University for veterinary school. He worked in Wichita, KS for 5 years doing traditional vet medicine before moving to San Antonio, TX for two years. The brothers then settled in Omaha and opened Road to Home.

“I had experiences with euthanasia while growing up (farm life, hunting, riding along with the local farm veterinarians, working in veterinary clinics) that shaped my views of it and they influenced me to try to help people do it in a better way,” Adam says.

We’ve described the traditional way of letting a pet go, but now here’s a general situation that one might experience when employing Road to Home and its custom services (Many of the details depend on the personality and emotional state of the client but in general the following occurs):

Road to Home takes the client’s call and tries to explain or at least outline the basics of the procedure over the phone if the client is receptive and the timing seems right.


The brothers then arrive at the client’s home usually within two hours of the call or else whenever scheduled. They introduce themselves, answer any remaining questions and take time to make the client and patient as comfortable as they can before proceeding.

“I administer a quick-acting sedative and pain reliever that will help the pet relax,” Adam says. “This takes effect within ten minutes and I usually play a song on my guitar to allow room for grief to flow. We then prep the catheter for quick and safe administering of the eutanasia solution. At that point, we let the family know that the final injection can be given when they are ready. The family gathers around and the euthanasia is performed. We enshroud the body and respectfully remove the pet via stretcher to the van where we will transport the pet for aftercare. Total time is generally under an hour.”

If you are wondering why choosing this method suits some clients, Dr. Carter has this explanation:

“I don’t often use such strong language, but our service is just clearly superior from the standpoint of patient and client comfort. Euthanasia of a pet is best done at home. It is so much better for the pet and owners that there is just no comparison.”

Sometimes, people have great relationships with their veterinarians and having a euthanasia procedure in the traditional way is suitable. Other times, extra wishes may exist. Road to Home’s business is founded upon meeting those special needs and providing pets and pet owners with the custom care they want at the end of life.

It may seem to readers that these types of services are becoming more popular- this assumption is correct. As Cherie Fry stated in our previous Pet Partner spotlight story, we tend to want to treat our pets as members of our families these days. Pets used to be just pets, but as the process of euthanasia has advanced and as the honesty and openness of our love for pets have become more socially acceptable, businesses like these are in higher demand.

“Demand anecdotally seems higher on the coasts than in the Midwest, but it is growing,” Dr. Carter says. “Here, it seems that not many people even realize it is an option, but the ones who have used our service have been happy they did.”

Some pet owners, as stated earlier, are comfortable with the way traditional euthanasia is administered. In fact, the majority of pet owners still use traditional means to usher their pets into the end of life. Some, however, want a bit more customization and personal attention than they feel a vet’s office can provide. If you are more along the lines of the latter, Road to Home is an option available to you. Odds are, if you are this type of person, you’ll use Cherie Fry’s Paws to Angels as well. In fact, many of Road to Home’s clients instruct them to take pets to Fry. The companies work together quite often.

If you are interested in Road to Home, visit their Web site by clicking here. They can also be found on Facebook at this link.

Services like Fry’s and Road to Home are more expensive than traditional end-of-life pet services provided by your veterinarians, but if you are in need of services like these to feel better about your pet’s treatment at the end of life, the higher price is likely worth it. Options are now available for pet owners and Road to Home is here to let you in on one of them.



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