(SPONSORED) Heron’s Crossing, a veterinarian dedicated to peaceful passings at home.Lauren Cassady, DVM
It takes a special type of person to devote their career to enabling the peaceful passing of a beloved pet, when that time inevitably comes. Dr. Lauren Cassady is that special type.
As a child, she knew that she loved medicine and thought that she would become a physician for humans, because of her passion for helping people. During the summer after her junior year of college, her cat got out and was hit by a car. Dr. Stark, the veterinarian who helped her cat survive that summer, showed her that by being a veterinarian she could heal people by helping their pets.
After graduating from Auburn University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Cassady joined a thriving practice and set out to follow her heart’s desire. After a few years in practice, she discovered she was frustrated with the environment – the practice culture demanded that she see a patient and move on to the next, while often the patient’s family really needed more attention, especially if end-of-life decisions were looming.
In 2014, Dr. Cassady followed her heart – again – and reduced her practice to exclusively end-of-life consultations and euthanasia for pets, and she located her practice in Decatur. She explains, “I knew that I was not meeting families’ needs in the way I wanted to, because I was constrained to a timeline. Now, I can meet families where they are – both physically and emotionally. I am able to allow space for people to process and grieve in the privacy of their own homes.”
Not surprisingly, Dr. Cassady loves dogs and cats both, and has one of each, herself. Scarlet, her 12-year old Tuxedo cat is equal parts loving and independent, and great at telling Dr. Cassady what she needs. Then there’s Tilly, an almost 2-year-old mini black lab mix who lives 100% in the moment and offers unconditional love and joy every day.
For a pet parent, making an end-of-life decision is both heart-breaking and guilt-inducing. Dr. Cassady knows those emotions first-hand and offers gentle guidance on recognizing the signs that the time has come. She says, “Every situation is different, so there’s no single condition that lets us know. My best advice is to call – talk through the circumstances with the vet, and then give yourself some space to decide.”
Heron’s Crossing has phone hours seven days a week, and offers in-home appointments Monday through Saturday. Some evening appointments are available. Learn more at www.heronscrossing.vet.