The Animal Health Foundation promotes educational efforts seeking to improve the lives of animals and the people who care about them. Throughout the years, we have sponsored, supported, and designed projects, which increase knowledge about pets, wildlife and the human-animal bond.
Promoting responsible pet ownership is of the utmost importance to the AHF. We take a variety of approaches to disseminating information about responsible pet care to the community. Seminars, exhibits, literature, media, and our website offer avenues for education.
Educating young people about animals is critical to developing respect and understanding about the value of pets to society. Increasing public awareness helps to build appreciation for our interdependence with the animals on this planet.
It is challenging for veterinarians and technicians to keep current with advances in medicine, surgery, and pet care. Making it possible for other creatures to share in the advancements of medical science, AHF sponsors educational endeavors of pet care professionals and the advancement of animal health issues. From time to time, we sponsor professional seminars about current topics in animal care. Specialists in various fields of veterinary medicine present education and training in the latest topics and techniques.
As with human loss, when you lose a pet you can expect to go through different stages of grief including denial, anger, guilt, pain, and depression. You also have some things to think about when you lose your pet.
We have put together a list of websites and an audio tape designed to help you through the grieving. They will shed light on questions like, burial, cremation, support groups, online discussion forums, ways to volunteer and give back, remembering your pet with a scrapbook, online memorial, etc.
To lose a loyal, devoted friend is hard. Don’t underestimate the power of the human-animal bond, even after death.
We hope these resources help you move through your grief.
- Argus Institute for Families and Veterinary Medicine
- Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement
- Grief Healing
- Pet Grief Support and Candle Ceremony
- Pet Loss Help
- Pet Loss Partners
- "Bill at Rainbow Bridge" by Dan Carrison
- "When You Have to Say Goodbye" (written for Children) by Monica Mansfield, DVM
- Pet Loss books for children by Corey Gut, DVM – "Being Brave for Bailey" and "Staying Strong for Smokey"
Former AHF Board Member, Dr Alice Villalobos, a renowned veterinary oncologist developed a scoring system to help family members and veterinary teams assess a pet's life quality, Quality of Life Scale (The HHHHHMM Scale). The five H's stand for: Hurt, Hunger, Hydration, Hygiene and Happiness. The two M's stand for Mobility and More good days than bad. The scale is a helpful tool which you can find by clicking the link below.
We recommend the following perspective on Euthanasia from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA®).
Attachment, Devotion, Value, Concern & Responsibility
By Alice Villalobos, DVM, DPNAP
The Human-Animal Bond (HAB) may be defined as the relationship between people, animals and their environment. The HAB may exclusively refer to our relationship with companion animals. But the HAB is often expanded to include relationships with all animals. This expansion of the HAB opens a vast range of considerations that cause confusion and conflicts of interest. I am proposing a Universal HAB Scale for the profession to provide a summation of how the animal kingdom is regarded based on five scores: attachment, devotion, value, concern and responsibility. This synopsis is a stark reminder that we must restore man’s ancient contract with animals as the good shepherd. This Universal HAB Scale is offered as an assessment tool to help animal caregivers as they encounter intrinsic bioethical considerations, decision making dilemmas and ethical analysis and discussions regarding all creatures great and small.
Students and teachers of animal ethics are challenged without having a clear concept or definition of the degrees or levels of the human-companion animal bond and the more expansive HAB. This universal HAB Scale serves to differentiate levels of the HAB as various people relate to animal(s). As healers, veterinarians face bioethical considerations and decision making dilemmas with clients who are highly bonded to their companion animals. The power of the companion HAB evolved small animal veterinary medicine into offering excellent facilities, specialties and procedures that currently parallel the pediatrician model. In stark contrast, all animal caregivers face ethical distress with the nonchalant attitude of those who view their animals as disposable property.
Encroachment, extinction, global animal welfare, oceanography, ecology, conservation, pollution control, public health, disaster response and disease control are all societal responsibilities that involve the expertise of veterinarians in the One Medicine model. The HAB scale reminds society that responsibility for the animal kingdom is upon all of us either directly or indirectly. Responsible HAB awareness might be an epiphany for millions and inspire people to modify wasteful behaviors to favor sustainable living so that future generations of man and animals can simply live on the planet.
A veterinarian’s normative ethics should remain steadfast within the HAB despite the inconsistency and fickleness of animal ownership or the adverse situation that animals encounter in the environment. This is because one’s search for right and wrong for justice and truth prevails with the force of character.