CONTACT US

Phone: 540-231-5977
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Email: vswsupport@vt.edu
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Veterinary Social Work Service
Veterinary Teaching Hospital
245 Duck Pond Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

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

Services Offered

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 support
Confidential consultation is available with a licensed mental health provider at no cost to Veterinary Teaching Hospital clients. You may ask your veterinary team for a referral, or you may contact the veterinary social worker directly by email at vswsupport@vt.edu or by phone at 540-231-5977. Confidential consultation is provided within limits regarding legal or ethical exceptions to confidentiality.

Animal Owner Support Groups

Caring for All Species 

This group is created for those families and individuals caring for an aging and ailing pet. It is open to any client of the Teaching Hospital. Many of us don't have a safe place to talk about the stressors of caring of a pet that may need around the clock care, so we created this group. The goal of this group is to help navigate caregiver burnout, and to connect with others so that ideas and support can be shared. 

The group is held on the 4th Wednesday of the month from 6:30pm-7:30pm.

2024 Meetings    

  • Jun 26, 2024
  • Jul 24, 2024
  • Aug 28, 2024
  • Sep 25, 2024
  • Oct 23, 2024
  • Nov 27, 2024 

For Pet Loss Groups or Resources please utilize our blog, at the bottom of the page. This has resources that are currently available for all families.

Memorialization

Annual Remembrance Ceremony

An Annual Remembrance Ceremony to celebrate the lives of beloved animals will be hosted in in person at the hospital 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.

The next ceromony will be in the Fall of 2024. 

If you would like to participate in the Annual Remembrance Ceremony, please contact the veterinary social worker by email at vswsupport@vt.edu or by phone at 540-231-5977.

Sharing Your Pet's Story

We understand that there are not a lot of places to share all the fond memories you have of your bond with your pet. So at the College of Veterinary Medicine we created a virtual memorial board where our families can showcase their loved ones. 

This is a public space that is open to our families of the VTH to utilize so share the story of their pet, say kind words to others, or to feel connected with others that have experienced the same bond. 

To post, click the button below "Go To Board"

Make a gift

  • General Item
    Watercolor of a field with a rainbow and heart and a cat and dog.
    Veterinary Memorial Fund

    The Veterinary Memorial Fund, established in 1985 through a collaboration between the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, receives memorial contributions from veterinarians, pet owners, and animal lovers. These donations honor the special bonds between pets and their owners, and they support scientific research aimed at enhancing healthcare quality for future generations.

Care for the humans who care for animals in Virginia's New River Valley

  • Home Item
    Veterinary Social Work at Virginia Tech , home

    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.