“The Vets2Home Team is most likely unlike any other vet team you will ever meet. We are a team of just two vets: Vets2Home’s owner & founder, Dr Suzen Gregersen & Senior Vet, Dr Joaquin Feliu. Vets2Home are just two mature and experienced vets who certainly never thought we would be spending most of our working lives putting animals to sleep. We both thought, probably like everybody else who enters the vet profession, that we would be heroicly saving lives, making exotic diagnoses and conducting life-changing surgery. We all aspire to be a Super Vet. Well, that is how we all start out and how we endure the gruelling training in Vet School. Then reality arrives.
There is no short version of the long story of how Dr Suzen and Dr Jo ended up being the heart and the soul of the first dedicated (mobile) practice in the UK that specialises in helping beloved pets have a peaceful end at home. We probably should start with how Vets2Home was started, in 2005, as “normal” mobile practice (one of the first in the UK) by Dr Suzen and veterinary nurse, Alex Gravett (RVN), providing all normal vet services at home (even minor surgery and diagnostics). Doing so, it soon became very clear that the real big, life changing difference to normal practice, was when we were making the end of lives of our pet patients, and their families, as peaceful and beautiful as possible at home.
The major difference was, unlike what was customary in the UK then, and sadly still is today, when we started using sedations before euthanasia. This unique gentle approach 10-15 years ago would make everything so very peaceful and gentle, something we believed was, and still is, missing with saying goodbye, the clinical euthanasia experience in busy clinics.
After 7 years, in 2012 Dr Suzen decided as the first practice of its kind in the UK, to only offer end of life services and in the pet’s own home. As she was now on her own running the practice as a one-woman vet practice, she would work tirelessly 24/7 to help as many pets and families in need and cover as large an area as possible from her home in mid-Sussex. After 2 years, in 2014, the demand was overwhelming and Dr Suzen was receiving many recommendations from both clients and vet practices and as such was getting very busy 7 days a week. Asking around for help, trying to find a suitable, wholehearted and experienced vet, Dr Suzen was very lucky that Dr Jo, as a new dad, was looking for a new way of working and he, slightly hesitantly, started covering occasionally to give Dr Suzen some much needed rest. After many training sessions where all the skill and experience that had been gained was shared, Dr Jo realised just how important this work was and that he actually found he had “the X-factor” to help his patients and families in a special way at this most difficult time. This is how Vets2Home has been operated ever since. With just two vets.
Vets2Home seems to be even more unique these corporate days and will never be a big, impersonal vet company. We are just two animal-loving vets, who never thought that this love of animals would lead us to specialise in looking after animals (and their humans) in the best possible way when ending their life. One thing we do know for sure, after helping thousands of pets find peace, is a loving goodbye is so much better when done at home, with loving pet parents or family gathered around in the favourite, familiar spot. The “secret” being having time to give that tailored, gentle but deep sedation first. We call this end, “the blessed sleep”, the sleep that ends all suffering and grants the “gift of peace” when it is most needed. THIS is why and how we do what we do: For the love of animals and for them to find peace, at home when this “last resort” is the last loving gesture we can do for them.
One thing we would like for you to know is that Vets2Home is not a big company but simply Dr Suzen and Dr Jo who between them are taking turns covering for each other to cover 168 hours a week (24/7) to go on the road to help pets all over Sussex have a peaceful and beautiful end. This is our calling and what we believe all living creatures deserve a peaceful goodbye at home when comfort and joy has disappeared from disease or old age.
Dr Suzen and Dr Jo are very grateful to recently have been able to add some wonderful “helpers behind the scenes” to join our 24/7 professional answering service (so we don’t miss calls when on visits) and making sure we can look after every pet and family as if they were our own:
A big thank you to MaryLou for stepping in to be our very efficient “PA”, sorting all sorts of admin tasks and telephone assistance when we are busy on the road, helping pets and families. Also big thanks goes to George for personally returning pets’ ashes to their families, covering many miles all over Sussex.
Last but not least are we very honoured and grateful to be working with the best, most trusted and respectful pet crematorium in the UK, Chestnut Lodge Pet Crematorium & Cemetery with a big “thank you” going to all the lovely people; Steve, Riann, Maz, DJ, Aaron and Kim at Chestnut Lodge who work so hard to look after all our precious pet patients – and their families sometimes too when visiting the lovely grounds in East Grinstead.
Dr Suzen and Dr Jo are very proud to say we only work with the very best people, in this sometimes quite challenging line of work, so we can make sure our clients and our patients receive a very unique and personal service at all times in celebration of a special life well lived and for the most beautiful memory to prevail.