Animal Hospice Helps Veterinarians Help Their Patients

Heather Merrill, CT, Founder and Director of New England Pet Hospice & Home Care, a mobile service basedNew England Pet Hospice. Animal Hospice in Sudbury, Mass., will be speaking to a leading training program for veterinarians and veterinary technicians about how animal hospice can help patients and their owners. Ms Merrill will be joined in the presentation with two staff members, Kim Karolides, CVT, MEd, and Betsy Hensley, CVT, each of whom is a veterinary nurse with more than 20 years experience caring for animals.

“Every day, the veterinary teams at all of our hospitals help provide outstanding medical care to our patients, but there is another part to our job – and that is taking care of the families that bring these pets in to see us,” said Patrick M. Welch, DVM, MBA, DACVO, Director of Learning & Development, IVG Hospitals and Medical Director, Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital.

“We often face difficult situations – with questions about palliative and end-of-life care. We know that our teams aren’t alone in facing these challenges, and we wanted to present a workshop that helps to introduce the competent and professional resources that are available to help us all through these cases.”

Merrill explained that, “Our mission at New England Pet Hospice & Home Care is to give both owners and their companion animals the comfort and care they need to deal with chronic diseases, special needs, and end-of-life issues.” Merrill further explained, “Just like human hospice and palliative care, we use a team of professionals to provide care for ill, elderly and special needs animals, and to support the animals’ families as they make critical decisions about care and live with those decisions.”

One family described their experience with NEPHHC: “They were there when we needed them. At a very difficult time in our dog’s life we looked for advice as to whether we were doing everything we could and how to make our dog’s surrounding as comfortable as possible. Heather and her team came through with great advice and products that helped us make the last few months more livable for our dog and for our family.”

More than 300 veterinarians, veterinary technicians, residents and students are registered for the one-day event at the Newton Marriott.

Heather Merrill, CT, has loved and cared for animals since she was a child. In 2011, she founded New England Pet Hospice & Home Care to help guide and support the companion animal owner, pet and entire family through caregiving, death and grief in a personal, respectful, and meaningful way. Her team of veterinary technicians, animal care specialists and hospice assistants are supported by an interfaith spiritual advisor and certified small animal massage therapist. She and her team served dozens of animals and their families in central and eastern Massachusetts; southern New Hampshire; and Rhode Island. More information is available at their website,

“Partners in Practice,” the one day IVG Symposium is part of the professional development program of IVG Learning and Development, a subsidiary of IVG Hospitals. Established in 1979, IVG Hospitals is a network of four veterinary hospitals in the greater Boston area: Bulger Veterinary Hospital (North Andover); IVG MetroWest (Natick), Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital (Woburn); and Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital (Portsmouth, NH).

For More Information:
Heather Merrill, 617-302-NEPH (6374)

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