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Some of our hardest moments are spent with those who we love the most.

A pet is not just another animal for us. We love them as family members. This is why, when they pass away, we are drowned in sadness. It is one of our most vulnerable moments to know that someone we love and care very much has gone away forever, and we have to bear the loss and keep going. 

Ross Tyler, a photographer, filmmaker, and educator, has undertaken a new project of documenting these row moments of pet owners letting go of their beloved pets. The inspiration behind this series, as Ross Tyler mentions, is witnessing one of his friends struggle with her decision to euthanize her pet due to deteriorating health.

This is a photograph of Leigh Zahn keeping her pet dog Spencer in her lap. Spencer had passed away moments before that, and she is fighting back the tears while holding Spencer for one last time. It shows the intimacy of the ‘Human-Animal’ bond, which Ross Tyler has tried to capture in this series of pictures.

This is Bob Zahn, Leigh’s husband touching Spencer moments after Spencer passed away. Leigh had immediately left the room as it was too hard for her to bear. Bob told Ross that Leigh would be more heartbroken over Spencer’s death than of her own parents.

This is an image of the passing of Rebecca Cassity’s dog, Coco. At the time of Coco’s passing, Rebecca reminded how Coco was there for her when her husband was serving in the military. Dr. McVety, who is a veterinarian from the Laps of love, was consoling her, assuring them that Coco is getting the best care in the world. 

The images involved in this documentation series were taken in Tampa Bay, Florida, by working closely with families who had their pets euthanized with the help of kind veterinarians from the pet euthanasia service Lap of Love. He is grateful for the support and understanding he has received from them throughout this project.

This heartbreaking moment happened between Wendy Lehr and her pet Mimosa. The photographer stated that Wendy cried out, asking what she was going to do without Mimosa. He expressed that it was one of the most intense moments he had witnessed when Wendy’s mourning echoed through the empty room.

The dog that is resting in this grave is Asia. Asia’s owner Carrie Peterson worded how tough it is to say goodbye while dropping sunflowers in the grave. Ross remembers the smell of freshly turned soil on the grave and that Asia looked peaceful in the grave.

Ross admires the compassion of the vets that have been involved in this project since at-home euthanizing can be one of the most heartbreaking moments for everyone involved.

Dogs and children always form the best friendships. Ally, Gangadyal’s family dog, passed away surrounded by family members. Michael Gangadyal petted the dog who had passed away while Vanessa Gangadyal consoled their 8-year-old son, who was having a tough time dealing with his friend’s death.

It does not matter how old we are; we all stumble when dealing with loss.

These girls are spending their last moments with their cat. Their reaction says it all, their grief and sorrow.

Some of us are more attached to our pets than we are to other humans. Imagine having to let them go.

We know that all dogs go to heaven. But it does not mean it is any less painful.

This snap of time preserves the moments before this dog’s death. The dog maybe understands that it is time to go, so he stares at its owner for one last time.

Heidi looked lovingly into her owner’s eyes before she was euthanized. Bob Lutz and his wife Cindy recalled the times Heidi helped them through life and took their pain away. Winnie, their other dog, also was watching while this sorrowful moment took place.

This is one of the most moving series Ross Tyler has done in his career. “It’s in the stillness of these moments that I sometimes felt the most emotional,” writes Taylor, which explains perfectly the atmosphere these images contain.

 You can find more of his work on his social media accounts which has gotten him nominated for several Pulitzer awards.



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