How Rainbow Bridge Began
Many years ago, euthanasia was considered to be primarily a medical procedure to be performed in
the veterinary hospital. When we discovered how much more peaceful and gentle the end of life
transition could be when the process was allowed to happen at home, we knew that there had to be
a better way. So, in early 2000, Dr. Anthony Smith founded Rainbow Bridge Veterinary Services, the
very first veterinary practice anywhere, dedicated solely to in-home end of life care for pets. (Click here
for some information on the Rainbow Bridge story). Since then, Rainbow Bridge has been able to
help thousands of people with hospice or euthanasia for their pets in the privacy of their own homes,
where they are able to plan ceremonies, say goodbye, or grieve in any manner they wish.
About Dr. Anthony J. Smith
Although he has practiced in a variety of areas of veterinary medicine,
including many years spent leading zoos and teaching veterinary
technicians, Dr. Smith found his passion in helping families and their pets
at the end of their lives together. He is the co-founder and a past president
of the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care, and
serves on the Board of Directors for the Nikki Hospice Foundation. He is
currently becoming one of the very first veterinarians certified in Animal
Hospice and Palliative Care.
Dr. Smith grew up here in the Bay Area, and received his Bachelor's Degree
from Stanford University, his Master's in Business Administration from
California State East Bay, and his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the
University of California, Davis. He is a much sought after speaker on topics
related to pet end of life care, and regularly lectures and helps teach
classes in the Veterinary School at UC Davis. His highest honor, though, is
being allowed to help people with their pets' transition at this most intimate
time in their lives together.
When not busy helping pets and their families, he enjoys rock climbing,
playing guitar, and spending time with his canine companion, Hope, in the
beautiful East Bay Parks, or meeting other dogs at Point Isabel Dog Park.
Hope began life in the Guide Dogs for the Blind program, where she was slated to become a
service dog for the visually impaired. It soon became clear that Hope was better suited to
another life, and as a "Career Change" dog, she came to live with Dr. Smith. Her new job is to
provide emotional support and countless laughs for Rainbow Bridge staff, so that we can
continue to help families during their time of grief. Hope's favorite thing (other than food) is
meeting new people and sharing her joy and love for life with them.