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In our research, we have found that owners of pets with behavior problems often feel isolated, embarrassed, judged, and feel like a failure. Owners are often struggling to understand their pet’s behavior, what they can do about it, and what the next decisions are for themselves and their pets. We will present initial findings from our qualitative research of the experience of owners of pets with behavior problems. In this research we are examining the impact on pet owners when living with and loving a pet with behavior problems and assessing the supports that owners need. We will introduce our developing collaboration between a veterinarian and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to increase support for owners of pets with behavior problems, including lessons learned from the support groups for pet owners that we began in the fall of 2014 as well as counseling provided to pet owners.
Speaker(s):Kristin Buller, MA, LCSW and Kelly Ballantyne, DVM