Why Choose Veterinary Social Work?

Veterinary Social Work (VSW) is an emerging area of social work practice that attends to the human needs that arise at the intersection of veterinary medicine and social work practice. Working within Capital City Specialty & Emergency Hospital, the veterinary social worker is an active member of the veterinary team and provides a number of services for both clients and veterinary team members.

a dog lying on the floor

Our Veterinary Social Worker

Dr. Michelle Lem

Dr. Michelle Lem

Veterinary Social Worker
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Welcome to our Veterinary Social Work Service (VSW) at Capital City Specialty & Emergency Animal Hospital – where compassionate care extends beyond the well-being of your beloved pets to include much needed care and emotional support for pet parents.

At times of medical emergency or dealing with complex conditions, the emotional toll on pet owners can be overwhelming. That’s why we offer specialized support through our Veterinary Social Work Service, ensuring that you and your furry family members receive comprehensive care every step of the way.

Our dedicated team of licensed social workers is here to provide short-term emotional support, counseling, and guidance to help you navigate the challenges that come with caring for a sick or injured pet. Whether you’re facing difficult treatment decisions, coping with grief, or simply need someone to talk to during this stressful time, we’re here to listen and support you.

Our services include:

  1. Emotional Support: We provide a safe and confidential space for you to express your feelings, fears, and concerns about your pet’s health journey.
  2. Coping Strategies: Our social workers offer practical coping strategies to help you manage stress, anxiety, and other emotional challenges associated with your pet’s medical condition.
  3. Decision-Making Support: We can assist you in understanding your treatment options, discussing difficult decisions, quality of life assessment, communicating with the veterinary team and advocating for your pet’s best interests.
  4. Grief Counseling: Losing a pet can be one of the most difficult experiences in life. Our compassionate team offers grief counseling and support to help you navigate the grieving process.
  5. Resource Referrals: We can connect you with additional resources including community support services, pet loss support groups, and more.

At Capital City Specialty & Emergency Animal Hospital, we believe that caring for pets goes beyond veterinary care – it’s about supporting the well-being of the entire family. Our Veterinary Social Work Service is here to provide the emotional support and guidance you need to navigate the ups and downs of your pet’s health journey with compassion and unconditional support.

The Veterinary Social Work Service will be accepting clients from referring veterinarians. While VSW services are provided free of charge for clients accessing emergency or specialty veterinary care at Capital City Specialty & Emergency Animal Hospital, clients referred for VSW services only, will be charged at a rate of $120/50 min session. Social Work services are covered under most extended heath care benefits. Please note that social work records or information will NOT be shared with referring veterinarians unless requested and consented to by the client.

To make a referral please go to our Referring Veterinarians site and click on Social Work.