In this webinar, we discussed how to connect with animal owners and help them cope with grief and loss during euthanasia and depopulation events.
The human element is a significant concern in emergency response because depopulation/euthanasia can exert long-lasting emotional and financial costs on animal caregivers and owners. During times of high stress and emotions, owners value an animal health professional who is knowledgeable, competent, AND relatable—listens to them, acknowledges their insight, is flexible, and compassionate (demonstrates empathy).
This webinar began with a case study of the human dimensions of the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in the United Kingdom from Dr. Doris Olander, DVM USDA APHIS Veterinary Services, who was involved in the response. Dr. Oleander's case study was followed by brief presentations from three other panel members on techniques for helping owners cope with grief and loss. The webinar ended with a Question and Answer session with the panel members.