For many, animals are beloved family members, friends and companions. When they are sick or injured, owners experience a variety of emotions and challenges.
As part of the treatment team at the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre, the Veterinary Social Work Program is here to support you through this difficult time.
How we can help
- Offering emotional support during diagnostic testing, treatment or euthanasia
- Helping you communicate your questions and concerns to your medical team
- Helping you communicate your questions and concerns to your veterinary medical team
- Providing referral to community supports if needed after you leave the medical centre or after an animal's death
- Helping you communicate your animal's illness and possible death to your children
- Helping you and your family work through your loss
- Support and referral for farm stress due to issues with your herd or production animals
- Support and referral for family members who are caring for seriously ill pets
- Support and referral for issues such as abuse (animals/people) and alcohol/drug addictions
Quality of life decision-making scales
Created by the University of Tennessee Knoxville VSW
Pet loss support
Mobile crisis units across Saskatchewan
- Suicidal feelings, thoughts or plans
- Child abuse and neglect (when the Ministry of Social Services — Child Protection is closed)
- Marriage and family problems
- Overwhelming emotions
- Relapse of mental illness
- Problems with drug and alcohol use and abuse
- Worries about safety
- Older adults/seniors in distress
Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; 1 to 5 p.m.
Farm Stress Line
Intimate partner/domestic violence safety planning for pets
Created by Community Veterinary Outreach
A checklist for individuals leaving a domestic violence relationship and for professionals helping clients planning to exit violent relationships to safely plan for pets.
Click here to download the safety guidelines
ViolenceLink.ca provides information about the link between animal abuse and domestic violence. The website includes resources for survivors, professionals and more.
Click here to visit the ViolenceLink.ca website.
Animal care guidelines for emergency co-sheltering
Created by Community Veterinary Outreach
Best practices for those emergency housing facilities interested in implementing co-sheltering services for people and their animals.
Click here to view the animal care guidelines online.
Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan
The Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS) is the member association for agencies that provide intimate partner violence services across Saskatchewan. Members include women’s shelters (also known as domestic violence shelters, safe shelters, transition houses, or interval houses), second stage shelters, and counselling centres that offer counselling and support to survivors of IPV.
Click here to view the PATHS web site.
Pet safekeeping in Saskatchewan
The victims of interpersonal violence and abuse may stay in a violent situation in order to protect their animals. Some victims risk their own lives by returning home in order to feed and care for their animals. Animal safekeeping programs help promote the safety and wellbeing of individuals leaving a violent situation by providing short-term temporary care for their animals.
Click here to view the Saskatchewan SPCA site (Animal Safekeeping).
Pet food banks
The positive impact of animals on human lives is well documented. Improved mental and physical health, along with unconditional love and companionship are key factors of the bond between people and our pets. They’re family.
Proper nutrition is a vital component in the health and well-being of all animals. By providing pet food, we hope to alleviate one of the many pressures faced by families that may be experiencing food insecurity. Together, we can prevent families from being forced to decide whether they keep their pet or surrender their loved one to a shelter or rescue.
Click here to visit the Saskatchewan SPCA site (Pet Food Bank).
SVMA Member Wellness Support Program
The Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association (SVMA) began subsidizing professional counselling services for members in 2012. Professional Psychologists and Counsellors (PPC) is based in Saskatoon and provides access to over 40 therapists across the province by referral.
These counselling services are available to all registered veterinarians and registered veterinary technologists (RVTs) in Saskatchewan.
- Ask a WCVM veterinarian or staff member about social work services
- Call 306-966-2852 for social work services