FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News From Arms of Aloha
June 20th, 2017
Contact: Carolyn Naun, DVM 808-435-3006 ext 3, firstname.lastname@example.org
Help for Grieving Pet Owners on Oahu
Support Group to be Held Every Thursday in Kailua
The group, running since November, recently changed to a more convenient day and time in order to help more people in the community. They meet each Thursday at 5:45pm in the Pali Palms Office Plaza in Kailua, 970 N. Kalaheo Avenue, Suite A308. There is no a fee, although participants can make a contribution to help cover costs if they wish.
Marianne Schultz, an animal lover and certified pet loss grief counselor, facilitates the sessions. For years, she has counseled grieving pet owners while serving as a deacon at First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu at Ko’olau. She joined Arms of Aloha as their chaplain last fall.
“I love hosting the group because we all share common, yet different ways of handling the loss of our family member,” says Schultz. “To be able to honor our pets through memories, laughter and yes, sometimes tears, allows participants to work their way through a difficult time. Grief is absolutely a normal reaction to the loss, and sometimes having someone other than their family listen is helpful.”
Her inspiration to go into pet loss support came after the death of her first dog, Maggie, whom she and her husband, Scott, adopted from the Hawaiian Humane Society at one year of age. Maggie’s passing instilled a desire to assist others grieving the loss of a loyal family member. Her own grief was so deeply felt that she was compelled to support others during this fragile time, to help them know that their pet would always be in their heart.
A local veterinarian, Dr. Carolyn Naun, started the animal hospice in August of 2015 because she realized pets have an underserved need for comfort care during the advanced stages of illness. Her team, who addition to Schultz includes a certified veterinary technician, provides hospice care, in-home euthanasia, and grief support to families on Oahu. The practice is not a traditional veterinary clinic in that they don’t see patients at their Kailua office. Instead, the medical team travels to the pets’ homes to meet with families and deliver care.
“Two thirds of pet owners today consider their animals to be their children,” says Naun, “but unlike our human children, due to their shorter life span, most of us must inevitably face that pet’s end-of-life stage. It can be incredibly overwhelming.”
Animal hospice and palliative (comfort) care is a relatively new specialty in veterinary medicine. Dr. Naun will be among the first professionals in the world to become a Certified Hospice and Palliative Veterinarian later this year.
Hosting a support group at the office was the perfect way to round out their services, Naun says. They are looking forward to supporting even more families in the future. “Whether the lost family member is a dog, cat, bird, horse, whatever, loss is the same,” says Schultz. Visit www.armsofaloha.com/support-groups for more details.
More information: www.armsofaloha.com
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