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Veterinary Social Work at Angell
We understand that it can be devastating to deal with the loss of a pet. Most of us share an intense love and bond with our animal companions, so it’s natural to feel grief and sadness when a beloved pet passes away. Likewise, we know the pain of loss can be overwhelming, and dealing with such emotions can be extremely difficult. Angell is committed to providing you with the personal attention and empathy needed to ease the sorrowful experience of losing a beloved pet. In addition to our staff’s diligent response to your needs, we offer complimentary grief support and guidance for our Angell clients.
How Can the Veterinary Social Worker Help You?
The mission of the Veterinary Social Work service at Angell is to provide short-term support and community referrals to clients as they navigate the healthcare needs of their beloved pets. Most importantly, the idea is to provide the help you need as a pet owner to make the best choices regarding your pet’s care.
You don’t have to be alone. Our Veterinary Social Workers — Julie Gass and Michelle Mezansky — are available to help when:
you are struggling with End-of-Life and/or difficult treatment choices
you are grieving the loss of your pet or anticipating the loss of your pet
stressors in your life impact your ability to care for your pet, such as illness, recent loss, or relationships
you are having a hard time processing information about your pet’s condition or discussions with your veterinarian
you feel isolated and overwhelmed by your pet’s care
Caregiver and Bereavement Counseling
Pet owners can have a difficult time managing disenfranchised and anticipatory grief. While the human-animal bond is an essential part of many people’s lives, it can still be challenging to feel as if loved ones in your life understand what you are going through. Counseling can give you the perspective and support you need to process your pain.
If you need longer-term support or help beyond the scope of Angell’s services, Julie and Michelle can help assess your needs and guide you to appropriate community resources.
Help with navigating your pet’s care
Sometimes receiving information about your pet’s care can be difficult, and at times traumatic. Talking to a social worker can help process goals of care, your pet’s quality of life, decisions on euthanasia, and other important end-of-life stressors.
Grief related to losing an animal companion can be isolating, particularly when there is so much uncertainty in the world. Using peer supports is proven to help navigate your grief. If interested, we invite you to please join Julie Gass for a monthly Pet Loss Bereavement Support Group via Zoom. Click here for registration information.
HEARTplay at Home Pet Loss Workshops
Please join Angell’s Veterinary Social Work Services and the HEARTplay program at Beth Israel Lahey Health At Home for a free Children’s Grief Workshop. This free workshop, held the first Wednesday of each month, is a one-hour group conducted over Zoom for kids/teens in the community who have lost a pet. During this time, children will spend time engaging with a grief counselor, and parents will receive guidance on how to continue the conversation about grief and loss with their kids. For workshop dates, time, and registration information, please click here.