Veterinary Social Work

Human-Animal Bond

At CUVS, we immensely value the human-animal bond, and honor the relationship we have with our pet family members. We know that the illness of a pet can be a stressful life experience and we are committed to do everything we can to help families through this experience. We are proud to offer the services of our Veterinary Social Worker to our clients (at no cost).

The Veterinary Social Worker is a mental health professional that tends to the human needs that arise in the relationship between humans and animals. It is similar to the role of a social worker in the human health setting but recognizes the pet as a family member.

Veterinary Social Work services are typically available Monday-Friday, 9:00AM-5:00PM, though hours do vary.

Services provided by the Veterinary Social Worker include:

For CUVS clients

  • Emotional support for families while in our hospital with their pets
  • Assistance in processing difficult decisions (quality of life, treatment decisions)
  • Facilitating family discussions with children
  • Providing crisis intervention during difficult situations
  • Accompanying family members while visiting pets in the hospital, during appointments or during end-of-life events
  • Referrals for other services, such as at home euthanasia, grief support, caregiver support, animal remembrance, memorial services, etc.
  • Providing information and resources
  • Short-term grief counseling, in groups or individually

For the CUVS veterinary healthcare team

  • Promoting and facilitating staff wellness
  • Providing mental health support as needed
  • Providing instruction and guidance regarding communication skills, compassion fatigue,grief, burnout, suicide prevention, pet loss, life balance, etc
  • Assisting staff with crisis intervention and short-term counseling when necessary
  • Providing resources and referrals
  • Mediating difficult emotional situations

For other veterinary healthcare teams

  • Offering training of staff at our referring veterinary partner hospitals
  • Providing pet loss support groups for families

Pet Loss Support Lines and Resources

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