Heartstrings was a shining light in one of the darkest periods of our lives, and the care, kindness, and compassion they showed to not only our beloved cat but also to our family is something that we’ll never forget.

If you’ve ever been in the position of having to decide when the time has come to end your pet’s suffering, then you probably remember the sense of dread, uncertainty, and hopelessness that comes along with it. We were forced to make that decision for our 17-year-old cat Pinky late on a Friday night, headed into the New Year’s weekend. Pinky had been slowly losing her battle with kidney failure, but despite knowing that the inevitable end was approaching, we were taken by surprise with how suddenly things turned and were panic-stricken at the fact that it was happening late on the evening before a holiday weekend. Our normal vet was closed for the holiday and wouldn’t reopen until early the next week, and while Pinky was loving and affectionate towards us, she wasn’t fond of strangers and was terrified of vet offices. The prospect of taking her to an emergency animal hospital to be euthanized made us sick inside.

A friend found Heartstrings on Google and suggested that we give them a call. The fact that we could have someone come to our home—where Pinky would be infinitely less scared—seemed almost too good to be true. Despite it being close to 11 pm, Shawn answered the phone when we called that night. He advised us that while their schedule for the next day was already full, he would do his absolute best to fit us in. Shawn stayed in touch with us consistently over the next 18 hours, giving us updates on their schedule and explaining the process and what we should expect when the vet arrived.

Shawn personally accompanied Dr. Kelsey to our home for our appointment, and knowing that Pinky didn’t care for strangers, he offered to stay out of sight until everything was finished. Dr. Kelsey was incredibly kind, gentle, and—even though she was squeezing us into the end of a very long day—incredibly patient with us as we said our final goodbyes to Pinky. We never felt rushed and neither Shawn nor Dr. Kelsey made us feel like an imposition. With as difficult as the loss of Pinky was for us, Shawn and Dr. Kelsey made it more peaceful for her than we could have ever hoped—and for that, we are forever grateful to them.