When Lane and Catherine Hagan realized this fall that their 15-year-old cat Stella didn’t have much time to live, they made the difficult decision to put her down.
Stella had beaten cancer in 2020, but fell ill again and went downhill fast. The Hagans decided they didn’t want to put Stella through the trauma of a trip to the vet, so they took advantage of a new business that provides euthanasia services to pet homes.
They called Dr. Lindsey Floyd of Compassionate Crossings in Hoover, who came to the Hagan family’s home in Mountain Brook that evening and gave Stella a peaceful transition to death in the comfort of her own home.
Lane Hagan said they wanted Stella’s final moments to be easy and also wanted their children — ages 8, 6 and 5 — to be there to say goodbye.
Going through it at home was easier for everyone, Lane said. “You don’t want to go out and have an emotional experience in front of other people if you don’t have to,” he said.
Lloyd was professional and compassionate and talked to the kids in a way they could understand what was going on, he said.
“It was a very nice experience,” Lane said. “We would definitely recommend her to anyone going through the same situation.”
Floyd, who grew up in Hoover and moved back to Bluff Park in 2012, works as an associate veterinarian at Lincoln Veterinary Clinic in Talladega County. She started her business, Compassionate Crossings, in October as a side business to help meet the needs of both pet owners and veterinary clinics, she said.
Putting a pet to sleep is an incredibly intense time for most pet owners and many people like the idea of letting their pet pass away in a calm, quiet and comfortable environment that the pet is used to rather than taking them to an unfamiliar office with many
of strangers and unfamiliar animals around, Floyd said.
It’s also difficult to get some animals into a vet’s office, she said. Cats are usually terrified of veterinary clinics, and some dogs are heavy, aggressive or unresponsive, she said. Sometimes pet owners who are disabled have a hard time getting out, she said.
Floyd said he also isn’t trying to compete with veterinary clinics, but instead provides a service for them as well. She does her appointments only after hours (usually 6-10 p.m.) or on weekends or holidays, all of which times most vet clinics are closed, she said.
Also, providing a home euthanasia service isn’t really a profit for vets, she said. And with the labor shortage, it’s hard for vets to find time to leave the office, she said.
When she opened in October, Floyd sent letters to veterinary clinics in communities south of Birmingham letting them know she was available to help, and vets were surprisingly the source of most of her referrals, she said.
She had about 25 customers in her first two months, which was more than she expected, she said. Compassionate Crossings, although based in Hoover, is also licensed to do business in Homewood, Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills and other parts of Jefferson and Shelby counties, she said. As her business grows, she hopes to expand her reach into other communities, she said.
Compassionate Crossings does not provide medical, surgical or hospice services — only euthanasia and aftercare for the body, she said.
Floyd graduated from Hoover High School in 1999, received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Auburn University in 2007, completed an internship in medicine and surgery in North Carolina and then practiced for four years in South Carolina before returning to Hoover in 2012. She has two dogs and two cats.
Hope Ousley of Cahaba Heights said she and her husband, Francis, also found Compassionate Crossings a big help when their 16-year-old cat, Simon, was nearing the end of his life this fall. Simon hated going near a car and wouldn’t enjoy a trip to the vet’s office, she said.
Floyd came to their home around 10 p.m. one night and was absolutely wonderful, Osley said. She didn’t rush the process at all.
“We were able to contain Simon, put him in his heating pad and blanket,” Ausley said. “We sat in his favorite chair by the fireplace.”
It was much better than Simon getting excited about getting in a car and going to the vet’s office, she said. “It’s been a real blessing.”
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