Veterinary Social Work
Care for the human-animal bond
Recognizing that our animals are a beloved part of our lives, VA-MD Vet Med's Veterinary Social Work Service is available to help clients navigate every step of their pet’s care. Similar to hospital or medical social workers in other health care settings, this service may include talking through treatment options, facilitating communication, or offering support for decision-making.
Consultations and appointments
Similar to hospital or medical social workers in other health care settings, the veterinary social work service is available to help you navigate every step of your pet’s care. Clients may receive support from the veterinary social worker in a variety of ways:
- As a liaison between you and your veterinary care team
- To facilitate decision-making
- To assist during crisis
- To help in making quality-of-life assessments
- In euthanasia decision-making
- For support before, during, and/or after euthanasia
- As support for discussions with children
- Grief counseling
Confidential counseling services are provided by a licensed mental health provider within limits regarding legal or ethical exceptions to confidentiality. Support includes consultation, assessment and referral, and short-term counseling. Feel free to reach out with any questions.
Animal loss support group: Healing in the Hahn
Our animals may take on any number of roles in our lives, and their unconditional love and consistent presence contribute to the human-animal bond we develop. We may find ourselves grieving their loss strongly, for they are partners, friends, family members, and confidantes.
There are times when this experience touches our lives in extraordinary ways that we had not anticipated or realized until we walk through this new phase of life. Through the support of others experiencing similar loss, our animal loss support group can provide you with the space and time to actively grieve.
Through the support of others experiencing similar losses, our animal loss support group, which is free of charge, provides hospital clients with a space and time to actively grieve. We will share, cover topics, and celebrate the gifts that your animal has given you.
To request more information, please contact the veterinary social worker by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 540-231-5977.
Honoring the memory
Finding a way to honor or memorialize the life and legacy of a beloved animal is an expression of gratitude and an acknowledgment of the gifts we discover through our human-animal bonds.
Annual remembrance ceremony
An annual remembrance ceremony to celebrate the lives of beloved animals will be hosted in September to gather with others sharing similar experiences, hear from a speaker with words of healing, create a remembrance item, and view a slideshow of your beloved animals.
If you would like to participate in the annual remembrance ceremony, please contact the veterinary social worker by email at email@example.com or by phone at 540-231-5977.
Make a gift
You may also choose to memorialize an animal by supporting the college with an online donation.
Care for the humans who care for animals in Virginia's New River Valley
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This resource blog was established in March 2020, in response to the evolving needs of humans in the New River Valley area experiencing challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As time permits, resources are compiled and shared by veterinary social workers at VA-MD Vet Med.