Owning a pet comes with benefits and challenges. An animal provides comfort and companionship to the lonely. They are laborers for those who own cattle. They provide support to people who have medical conditions and enjoy all kinds of things at home.
The hardest part of being an animal companion is saying goodbye. Unfortunately that time eventually comes to all pet owners.
Until now, unless you had a special relationship with a veterinarian, you had to take your animal to a veterinary office or hospital to say a final goodbye. No matter how kind and caring the staff is, walking into a medical office with your best friend and being left alone is a cold, lonely feeling.
Dr. Heather Aubrey, Veterinarian Sierra Animal Hospitaland Tom Attickson, veterinary assistant at the same facility, saw a need and was determined to fill it.
On January 14, 2024, he established Mountain Shepherd Veterinary Services, Home Euthanasia Service. They cover the greater Oakhurst and Quarsegold area, as well as Mariposa, Fish Camp, Yosemite and the North Fork. If someone outside of these communities needs their services, they consider the request on a case-by-case basis. MSVS also provides aftercare. West Coast Pet Memorial Services.
When asked why he chose to start this business, Tom said, “Over the last five years we’ve had a lot of clients tell us that they wish there was an in-home euthanasia option because their Pets were scared at the veterinary office. We also saw people in the community asking if there were any services available on social media in the mountains because services outside of Fresno are often out of the price range. On a case-by-case basis. After providing services for a few clients, Dr. Heather and I decided to open our own business to meet the demand in the community for mobile home euthanasia services in the price range we hope to better serve our community. Will be.”
As owners and sole employees of MSVS, their availability depends on their caseload. However, whenever possible, they try to make themselves available on an emergency basis.
Dr. Heather graduated from Western University of Health Sciences in 2007 as a DVM. Since then he has worked in emergency, exotics and general practice. For the past five years he has been an associate physician at The Sierra Animal Hospital in Oakhurst. A Bay Area native, she grew up in Marin, CA.
Tom Attickson has also worked at Sierra Animal Hospital for the past five years. He started as a kennel tech and worked his way up to veterinary assistant. He often works as a surgical assistant, overseeing anesthesia and assisting during surgical procedures. Tom grew up in Oakhurst and is a veteran of the US Coast Guard.
Mountain Shepherd Veterinary Services does not offer specific office hours, but their phone line — (559) 580-6217 — is always open.
Pet services offered
They provide services for pocket pets, exotics, domestic animals (dogs and cats) and small livestock up to 200lbs such as goats and sheep. In this way, animals can be placed in a setting that is familiar to both owner and pet, providing the comfort that both need during difficult times.
Regarding the future goals of MSVS, Dr. Heather and Tom have many ideas about how to grow them but first they want to establish themselves as a home euthanasia service.
As hillbilly residents and veterinarians, they fully understand and empathize with the needs of their clients and try to meet them as sympathetically as possible.
Photos courtesy of Mountain Shepherd Veterinary Services
(Translation of tags) Ahohnee