Euthanasia & Cremation

Shelter Euthanasia
The definition of euthanasia comes from the Greek word meaning “a humane death.” Our animal care staff performs euthanasia. When an animal is euthanized, an injection of sodium pentobarbital (a barbiturate) is used, resulting in a quick painless passing.

We are happy to answer any and all questions on the topic of euthanasia and we will explain the process to anyone interested. These decisions are not easy for our staff, but for animals that are vicious, ill and in times of overcrowding - euthanasia is a part of shelter life. All staff members understand the difficulty you may have with euthanasia and respect that.

At the DRHS, we do everything in our power to prevent needless euthanasia. Education is the key to that prevention. Euthanasia is a community problem and a national problem; only by teaching people how to be responsible pet owners can we solve this problem. 

Euthanasia Services
Although it is difficult, sometimes we have to say goodbye to our dear pets. If you feel that it is time for your pet, your pet can be euthanized at the Dubuque Humane Society for a fee of $40. Since euthanasia is hard for both the staff and family, we only allow staff in the room during the euthanasia process. You many visit with your pet before and after the euthanasia.

Cremation Services 
DRHS offers cremation services for either mass or private cremations. 
♦ During a private cremation, your pet is cremated alone for a fee of $135 and you may request to receive back the ashes.
♦ During a mass cremation, your pet is cremated with other animals and ashes are not available. Fees for a mass cremation vary on the weight of your pet.


If you have questions about our euthanasia and cremation services, please call 563-582-6766 or email at