Veterinary Social Workers Can Help Deal With The Loss Of A Pet

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — There has been a growing trend to add social workers to the staff at veterinary hospitals and veterinarian offices nationwide.

Here in Massachusetts, there are only three social workers who are part of veterinary teams. WBZ NewsRadio’s Kim Tunnicliffe spoke with Eric Richman, Clinical Social Worker, Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, who helps pet owners with a wide range of issues.

Richman runs a pet grief support group for clients who are having a hard time dealing with the loss of their beloved pets.

Richman said the impact of pet loss is not always recognized in our society, but it runs very deep for pet owners.

“Their pet saw them through illness, divorce, and they were a steady constant. Those secondary losses come up when they think about losing this pet who was there thick and think — didn’t judge them on any decisions they made, didn’t judge them when they got up in the morning and had no makeup on or their hair was all over the place,” Richman said. “They were happy to see them and love them regardless. And you don’t always get that from people in your life. So, it’s special.”

Richman also meets with Tufts' clients to help them with tough end of life decisions. He speaks with them about their pet’s quality of life and putting their animal’s needs first.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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WBZ NewsRadio’s Kim Tunnicliffe (@kimWBZ) reports

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