27 Heartbreaking Last Photos Of People Saying Goodbye To Their Pets

Although every dog owner knows that nothing lasts forever, we constantly try to chase away the thoughts of our pet’s death. However, understanding this devastating part of life helps to prepare for it. Photographer Ross Taylor wants people going through difficult moments to know that they’re not alone. His recent series, Last Moments, capture people euthanizing their four-legged companions, and Taylor hopes that “images like this can build empathy for those experiencing it.” And they sure do.

“A good friend of mine was really struggling over the impending death of her dog, and she decided to have her pet euthanized at home,” Ross told Bored Panda. “I had never heard of this as an option. She didn’t want the animal to be more stressed by a trip to the vet clinic, and thought it would be easier for her (and her dog) to have it at home.”

The photographer was also seeing friends in his social media feeds posting memorials of their pets almost weekly in lovely and touching tributes.

“Because of this, I began researching the topic and reached out to a number of organizations. The first that responded was Lap of Love, based in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Dani McVety (the founder and CEO of the Tampa-based organization) was open to my request, and more importantly, the reasons behind it. Within a month or so of contact, I began working with them.”

“It was by far one of the most intense projects I’ve ever worked on. In almost every case, it was hard to keep emotions in check, as I felt so much for the families going through this. It’s hard to see people (and their pets) suffering. It’s also important to note how much care and compassion the veterinarians put into what they do. It’s because of them that the process is at least a little easier. They’ve got my respect.”

“I know how hard of a decision it is,” Taylor added. “Pets can bring so much joy in life, and it’s very hard to see them in pain. But, it’s also encouraging knowing just how much people care about the pets in their lives.”

“I cannot possibly thank Dani, the staff and the veterinarians enough. It couldn’t be done without them. I’ve also worked with Caring Pathways in based in Denver. They are also a deeply compassionate organization, and I’m profoundly thankful to them as well.”

More info: rosstaylor.net | Instagram

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

Olesya Lykovi cries out in anguish, just after the death of her dog, Sam. Lykovi’s husband, Vitalii, tries to comfort her. Moments before, she looked at vet Dani McVety, right, and asked, “Is he gone?” McVety nodded and said, “He has his wings now.” Sam was dying of cancer.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

Bob Zahn touches his dog, Spencer, a final time, just moments after the dog passed. His wife, Leigh, left the room immediately, as it was too much for her to take. “She’s going to take it harder maybe than the loss of her parents. Your parents can tell you when something is wrong, but your dog can’t.” He sighed. “She’ll be a mess, today, tomorrow and the next few weeks. She loved him.”

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

Leigh Zahn fights back tears as she lays with her dog, Spencer, in her lap a final time, just moments after Spencer passed.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

“There’s never enough time,” said Donnie Leibe. “We never have them long enough,” he added shortly before his dog, Daisy, at left, is put to sleep.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

“What am I going to do? What am I going to do?” David Thompson cries over and over shortly before his dog, Spartan, was later euthanized on their house boat located in Port Hudson, Florida. “You’re the best friend I could ever have, you’re my first mate” he said. At right is his wife, Marie.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

“I always felt safe with him,” said Juliet Rubio as she laid by her dog, Dingo, who is 12. “I hate this, I hate this,” she said over and over again before the passing of Dingo. “He’s given me so much comfort.” As he started to die she cried over him saying over and over, “I love you, I love you. Soon, you’re going to be free again.”

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

“I’ve loved you for so long,” said Juliet Rubio before she wrapped her dog, Dingo, in one of her blankets before his burial. • “Last Moments,” is a photo essay that explores the intimacy of the human-animal bond – specifically, the last moments before, and after, the passing of a pet at home with their owner. It is a somber, and intense, testimony to the bond and the pain that comes when it is broken.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

“It’s never easy,” said Juliet Rubio, weeping, not long before her dog, Dingo, was euthanized. Dingo was over 12 years old and was struggling with multiple health issues. Afterwards, Juliet Rubio, left, and Dr. Erica Unz carried her dog, Dingo (wrapped in a blanket) outside her home. As Erica moves to leaves she hugged her. “Thank you so much, you made it so much easier. You’re really wonderful.”

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

“I hoped I could give him a magic pill to make him better,” Gary Clay said of his dog, Woody, under his breath as his dog slipped away. “Good boy Woody, good boy. I’m going to miss you.” • “Last Moments,” is a photo essay that explores the intimacy of the human-animal bond – specifically, the last moments before, and after, the passing of a pet at home with their owner. It is a somber, and intense, testimony to the bond and the pain that comes when it is broken.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

Marquita Leibe paced back and forth shortly before bending down to be near her dog, Daisy, minutes before she is put to sleep. At right is her husband, Donald. Shortly after, he stepped outside to compose himself, overwhelmed with grief.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

“I tried to do more, I tried to do all I can. But they said there’s nothing more I can do,” Kiara Manrique said while weeping at the loss of her dog. At left is her sister, Kimberly, and veterinarian Nil Wilkins (unseen) who later reached out to comfort her.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

Vanessa Gangadyal consoles her son, Ian, 8 while her husband Michael Gangadyal pets their dog, Ally, shortly it’s passing. At right is Erica Unz, a veterinarian with a deep compassion, who comforts the family in the difficult momen

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

Vanessa Gangadyal consoles her son, Ian, 8 while her husband Michael Gangadyal pets their dog, Ally, shortly it’s passing.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

In a gesture of remembrance and honor of memory, the veterinarians offer the option of a paw print to the families – a tangible memory to hold after the passing of a loved one. It’s always a quiet moment during this sacred time. One that’s full of reverence laced with the unquestionable sadness of letting go.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

“She’s always been my companion. Coco was there for me when he was on deployment,” said Rebecca Cassity, as she fights back tears. Her husband, Drew (at right) was in the military and also struggled in the final moments. During the procedure Dr. McVety reassures her with a hug and consoling words: “This is better treatment than any one of us would get.”

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

Wendy Lehr met Dr. Erica Unz with tears in her eyes. As they settled into the living room, thunder boomed outside. A heavy rain pattered against the roof. Mimosa, center, didn’t move and Wendy Lehr notices it. “She’s normally scared of it.” After awhile, Erica Unz asked if they’re ready. “I don’t know if we’ll ever be ready, but I guess it’s time,” she said before starting to openly sob. It was one of the hardest cases I’ve witnessed and brought me to tears immediately. I felt so sad for them.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

In one of the most intense moments I’ve ever witnessed, Wendy Lehr cuddled beside her dog, Mimosa, shortly after she passed. The muffled sounds of her cries filled the empty room as she nuzzled against her face. In the wake of a following silence, she cried out. “Oh my baby, oh my baby. What am going to do without you?” My heart broke.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

“We were once here.” It’s the phrase I think about whenever I see this image after Asia passed away. Dr. Dani McVety tenderly made a paw print for Carrie and Rob Peterson shortly after Asia died.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

Darcy Jones, left, speaks with Dr. Loren Gassler about her dog, Alli, 15, who had some balancing issues and was struggling with a diagnosis of cancer. Dr. Gassler was performing a hospice visit for Jones, to offer some suggestions on how best to handle the remaining time they would have together. Dr. Loren, and so many others like her, are amazing at what they do and help the painful transition daily, without drawing attention to themselves. They have my respect.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

“When I was sick, she knew something was wrong.” said Bob Lutz about their dog, Heidi, who looked up at them moments before she was euthanized – due to recent substantial declines in health. His wife, Cindy, added “She helped take away our pain.” At right watching is their other dog, Winnie.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

In a quiet and tender moment, Kimberly Manrique looks at Sparky, just after the dog was put to sleep. While difficult, the at-home euthanasia process can be one that mitigates some of the painful reality of the end of life. It’s worth noting that the vets I’ve worked with are some of the most compassionate people I’ve met, and always offer the families a chance to have a respectful moment afterwards with their beloved pet. It’s in stillness of these moments that I sometimes felt the most emotional for everyone involved.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

“I don’t feel so good right now,” said Jennifer Hoch, at right, as before she kisses Shadow, her cat, goodbye. Shadow was dying of cancer, and Jennifer was clearly in a bit of shock. I felt so much sadness for her, as well as her friend, Ruby Nelms (at left). Nelms said,“I wouldn’t let her go through this alone.” As Shadow passes away, Jennifer kept repeating, “It’s ok baby, it’s ok.” One of her final words to her was, “You’re my angel.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

As Dr. Erica Unz began the final injection into Mimosa, Wendy laid down onto the floor beside her dog. She started crying and repeated over and over again, “I love you so much, I love you so much.” In the background is her husband, Rich. Not long after, she looked up to Unz to see if her dog had passed. She told her yes. At this moment, Wendy started to cry out loud. Unz moved quickly to comfort her with a hug.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

It was heartbreaking watching as Asia performed its last duty, barking along the farm’s perimeter, alerting it’s owners of nearby animals. It’s body spent, it managed enough energy for one more patrol by the fence. Soon afterwards, it laid down in a nearby shed to cool off from the summer heat, exhausted from a body that was rapidly failing it.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

I can still remember the heat of the summer day on the farm, thick with humidity. As dusk settled, Dr. Dani McVety, Rob Peterson, Erin Vaccaro and Carrie Peterson gathered around Asia for some tender rubs, moments before she was put to sleep. The care Dr. McVety provided for them in this fragile moment was impressive, and helped a painful moment pass a little easier.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

As the sun sets during a late summer evening, Kai, at right, senses something is wrong with Asia. He dutifully follows behind Rob Peterson and Dr. Dani McVety. Soon, with the help of Carrie, Rob’s sister, Asia will be buried on the farm.

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Image credits: Ross Taylor

“It’s tough saying goodbye,” said Carrie Peterson after she dropped sunflowers over the grave of her dog, Asia. The smell of freshly turned earth is what I remember, and how peaceful Asia looked within it.

Source: boredpanda.com

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