Alicia Kennedy

Integrating Veterinary Social Work into Private Veterinary Practice

A Talk by Dr. Alicia Kennedy BSc BVMS MAICD (Cherished Pets)

About this Talk

During this presentation we will share the story of Cherished Pets, a unique social veterinary enterprise established in Victoria, Australia in 2015. We have integrated a veterinary social work service in to our private veterinary practice against a One Welfare framework guided by the principles that human health, animal welfare and environmental sustainability are inextricably linked.

We are driven by our purpose, that the benefits of healthy companion pets are accessible to all people regardless of their status. Our signature model delivers a collaborative, community-centred, multi-agency service that focusses on the human animal bond, supporting pets AND their people. We are filling a gap in the emerging space where animal and human health and wellbeing intersect. We build capability (financial, physical, psychological) in vulnerable people so they can keep their pets healthy and well so the human animal bond can thrive.

Poverty impacts the capacity of vulnerable people to take care of their pets and is one of the key challenges facing our industry. We have practical experience, insights and a model that may help inspire and guide others navigating a similar path.

We deliver a private veterinary social service across two sectors of the VSW Model:

  • Palliative veterinary care/home euthanasia/pet bereavement
  • Coordinating companion pet and veterinary care to the following vulnerable groups:
  • Elderly
  • People living with disabilities
  • Homeless
  • Domestic Violence victims
  • Mental Health sufferers

Our innovative social-hearted organization and funding/service model delivers the following:

  • Provides a client-centred pet care and veterinary service with needs assessments and management plans,
  • Allows eligible people to access subsidy funding and support for pet health and wellbeing management, through our partner charity, Cherished Pets Foundation,
  • Builds capability in people so they can maintain healthy, happy pets and enjoy the recognized benefits of a thriving human animal bond,
  • Protects companion pet welfare across all that we do,
  • Collaborates with health service providers in our community,
  • Advocates and consults to broader industry and agencies around the role of healthy companion pets in human health and wellbeing, especially healthy ageing and the role of pets in domestic violence,
  • Educates people in the industry around the emerging field of veterinary social work,
  • Conducts reviews and initiates research,
  • Brings a solution to veterinary corporates to respond to the ever increasing impact of moral stress in the profession, impacting mental health and wellbeing of people in the space.

October 09, 2020, 11:00 PM

11:00 PM - 11:30 PM

About The Speakers

Alicia Kennedy

Dr. Alicia Kennedy BSc BVMS MAICD

Cherished Pets