End of Life

End-of-Life Services

As many people consider their pets as part of the family, the loss of a beloved pet companion can be an especially heartbreaking experience. Our compassionate staff are here to support both you and your pet during this difficult time. If you have any questions, please call us at 720.523.PETS (7387) or email us at [email protected].

Owner-Requested Euthanasia

When the quality of your pet’s life has seriously deteriorated due to old age, severe injury or a debilitating illness, you may decide humane euthanasia is the most compassionate option to alleviate pain and suffering. We do recommend you work with your veterinarian (if possible), to receive guidance on the timing of end-of-life care.  We also suggest going to a veterinarian office if you want to be present for your pet’s euthanasia process, as our shelter does not provide this option at this time.

Please note, we reserve the right to refuse euthanasia for any animal whose health condition and/or pet ownership cannot be verified.

We understand how hard it is to make a humane euthanasia decision for your pet. While appointments are not required, filling out the following questionnaire in advance of your arrival will help us both review and prepare for your request, and potentially avoid any delays in providing you and your pet our services. 

End of Life Service Form


We offer cremation along with euthanasia services for an additional fee.  In cases when a pet has passed away at home, you may bring them to the shelter for cremation. If you wish to arrange for private cremation and would like your pet’s ashes returned to you, we will assist with referrals for this service.

What to Expect:

  • You and your pet will be treated with kindness and dignity.
  • There will be time to be with your pet before and after euthanasia (if you choose), but not during the euthanasia process.
  • Plan to be at the shelter around 30-40 minutes.
  • Calling the shelter before you come in is helpful, but not required.

What to Bring and Fees:

  • Forms of Identification such as a driver’s license or state ID
  • Proof of pet ownership such as vet records, tags, photos
  • Cash or credit card to pay fees:
    • Euthanasia with Cremation*(without returning ashes): $85
    • Euthanasia Only: $50 (for those using an outside cremation service)
    • Cremation Only (without returning ashes): $35
    • Private Cremation: Riverdale Animal Shelter does not provide private cremation services, but can assist you if needed with locating a service provider that can pick up your pet from our shelter for private cremation and return of ashes.

When to Come In:

  • The shelter is open 7 days per week except for major holidays.
  • Hours: Mon-Fri 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sat and Sun 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Please call 720.523.PETS (7387) to schedule an appointment.
  • If unable to make an appointment, we kindly ask families arrive at least one hour prior to closing and call ahead in instances where this is not possible.

Pet Grief and Loss Resources:

Pet Loss Support Websites: