A heartbreaking tweet which reveals what one vet says about how pets react when they are abandoned by their owners to be put down alone has gone viral.
The Twitter post from Jessi Dietrich reveals a conversation she had with her vet, who told her what the most difficult part of his job was. And it's extremely upsetting.
Jessi wrote: "Asked my vet what the hardest part was about his job & he said when he has to put an animal down 90% of owners don’t actually want to be in the room when he injects them so the animal’s last moments are usually them frantically looking around for their owners & tbh that broke me.
"And for this reason I’m literally gonna be cradling my homeboy rick when his time comes with all his favourite toys and endless ear scratches at the ready regardless of how distraught I am.
"Didn’t mean to break everyone’s hearts just wanted to raise awareness!!!!! I’m so sorry :/"
Other vets replied to her post to say, reassuringly, that in their experience they usually sedate the animals first and that "80% of the owners stay" until the pet is asleep before leaving.
Another Facebook post, apparently written by a 'tired, broken vet', on the Facebook page of Hillcrest Veterinary Hospital reiterates how tough it is for the animals and implores owners to stay with them until the end.
It's a very tough read...
"When you are a pet owner it is inevitable, the majority of the time, that your pet will die before you do. So if and when you have to take your pet to the vet’s office for a humane pain-free ending I want you all to know something. You have been the centre of their world for THEIR ENTIRE LIVES!
"They may just be a part of yours but all they know is you as their family. It is a crappy decision/day/time/event every time, there is no argument against that and it is devastating for us as humans to lose them. But please I beg you DO NOT LEAVE THEM.
"Do not make them transition from life to death in a room of strangers in a place they don’t like. The thing you people need to know that most of you don’t is that THEY SEARCH FOR YOU WHEN YOU LEAVE THEM BEHIND!"
The post divided opinion, with some people annoyed that it would make pet owners who made the difficult decision to not stay with their pets feel guilty, while others shared their own experiences of staying with their own pets.