Caring for the caregiver

The human-animal bond is a powerful relationship that can impact the health and well-being of both human and animal. When you are caring for a companion animal who is ill or injured, or when you are faced with a terminal diagnosis or the death of your companion animal, additional support can be helpful.

At UGA, we understand the unique challenges that these circumstances can create. Please know that even though others may not fully understand what you are going through, what you are feeling is real and related to the love bond that you have with your companion animal. We wish to support you during this journey, which is why we offer the below resources to our clients.

Noelle Browning, MSW, LCSW

Noelle is a licensed clinical counselor who is part of our hospital’s care team. She is available during the week to provide confidential support both in-person and by phone to clients who are interested.

Clients can either ask to speak to Noelle during their visit, or they can contact her directly by calling 706-542-3221.

Areas that she can assist you with include:

  • Navigating your companion animal’s chronic illness
  • Clarifying goals of care
  • Support during treatments and when making decisions
  • Discussions and assessments about quality of life
  • Providing crisis support
  • Learning how to talk to your children about your companion animal’s changing health
  • Discussions about decisions at end of life
  • Grief support
  • Providing education and community resources.

Heart’s Journey – A Pet Loss Support Group

We understand that the loss of a pet can be heart breaking. Heart’s Journey is an online Pet Loss Support Group that is designed to offer emotional support to those grieving the loss of an animal. It also provides the opportunity to connect with other bereaved pet owners so that no one has to walk this journey alone. For more information, please contact Noelle Browning, MSW, LCSW, at the number above.

Other Resources

Expanded Companion Animal Support Resource Guide

Large Animal Support Resource Guide


Latest News

Photo of Mary Roach and Jaxon running on the beach

UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital helps clients deal with stress and grief

Noelle Browning, a veterinary social worker, helps clients deal with the stress of having a sick pet and the grief of having one die. Graduate students from the UGA School of Social Work are interning there and learning about the human-animal bond. Listen to the story on WUGA

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