The stories of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in the Human-Animal connection. Listen as Allison White showcases professionals who share their areas of expertise in an ongoing series of interviews that will help us all understand that WE are the ones that actually end up learning – from the Animals. This is – The Animal Academy Podcast.
24: Ending Compassion Fatigue & Strengthening Compassion Resilience with Kirsti Clarida & Angie Arora
Today, I am happy to have the privilege of talking to Angie Arora and Kirsti Clarida, two professionals who I got introduced to through the Veterinary Social Work Program. Angie is a registered social worker from Toronto, Canada. She gears much of her practice around pet loss bereavement and building compassion resilience in animal care professionals. Kirsti is a registered veterinary technician in Ontario, Canada, and she has done a lot of advocacy work to increase awareness around the importance of the roles of Registered Veterinary Technicians in veterinary medicine. Kristi and Angie got together, and they have been doing a lot of research and putting some hard work into compiling a veterinary training manual to help people deal with any challenges related to their relationship with animals.
Although working with animals can be fulfilling and rewarding, it can also be physically and emotionally exhausting. Angie and Kirsti are joining me today to discuss the work they are doing in the field, which includes pet loss and bereavement, compassion fatigue, and strengthening compassion resilience. Be sure to stay tuned today to hear what Angie and Kirsti have to share about reinforcing how people relate to animals.
The two life experiences that came together for Angie, that started her journey.
Angie explains what a veterinary social worker does.
Angie discusses the role she plays as a Pet Loss Support Group Facilitator with VetVine.
Kirsti talks about the work she’s been doing to increase awareness of the challenges of veterinary technicians.
How Angie and Kirsti were brought together, their relationship, and the kind of work they are doing together.
About the research that they did through Seneca College, their goal, and the result that ensued.
Kirsti shares some profound statistics from their research.
Pet loss with species other than dogs and cats, and the euthanasia process.
What dysthanasia is, and how to deal with it.
What they learned about hospice and palliative care during their study.
The importance of addressing caregiver fatigue and burnout.
Supporting children in their grief.
What veterinary practices can do with the guidelines that Kirsti and Angie have made available.
Angie and Kirsti’s Bios:
Angie Arora is a registered Social Worker from Toronto, Canada, with over 15 years of experience in the areas of pet loss and veterinary compassion resilience. She has worked as a hospital Veterinary Social Worker, facilitated community-based pet loss support groups, and engaged in media campaigns to reduce the stigma associated with pet loss. She is on the inaugural Board of the International Association of Veterinary Social Work and serves as a Pet Loss Support Group Facilitator with VetVine. Angie is a Professor with Seneca College’s Social Service Worker Program. Her social work practice has also focused on issues of gender-based violence with a specific focus on immigrant and refugee communities. Also, she is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist with the Traumatology Institute and works with the veterinary industry to build wellness through strengthening compassion resilience. Angie obtained her Bachelor of Social Work from Ryerson University and Masters of Social Work from York University.
Kirsti Clarida has been a proud Registered Veterinary Technician since graduating from Seneca College in 1999. With service in small animal, emergency, and locum veterinary practice, she brings a wealth of experience to her current role as Coordinator of the Veterinary Technician Program at Seneca College. She is also the former Communications Manager of the Ontario Association of the Veterinary Technicians (OAVT) creating campaigns to increase awareness of the important roles RVTs play in veterinary medicine in Ontario. Kirsti continues to advocate for RVTs in her roles as Vice-President of the OAVT an
Providing Emotional Support for Our Military Through the USO with Kelly Brownfield
Life often takes us places we never could have anticipated. Even military brat Kelly Brownfield can attest to this. Kelly grew up in Germany and returned to her home state, South Carolina, after graduation. Despite her constant moves, life surprised her when it urged her to move to Missouri, and many more surprises accompanied her. She landed an opportunity to work with the USO, and the most special dog fell right into her lap. Kelly shares how she’s leveraged these gifts and established programs for the USO to further support families and children in a plethora of ways. Join Allison in this conversation with Kelly Brownfield to hear more about her story.
Kelly shares how she got involved in an animal career
Kelly talks about her experiences growing up in Germany
What inspired Kelly to move
Why you have to be willing to fail and take a leap
How Kelly got a job at the USO
How Kelly got various programs implemented in the USO
The story of how Kelly got Bandit
Programs Bandit went through
What is the USO therapy dog program
How animals break down emotional barriers
What inspired Kelly to adopt more Great Danes
What it takes to care for and train Great Danes
Focusing on military wellness and bringing families together
How you can use disabilities to benefit others
The power of teamwork
Changes that have happened because of COVID
How to incorporate your passions into your life
Nestle-Purina Petcare: https://www.purina.com/ (https://www.purina.com/)
St. Louis Pet Lover’s Coalition: https://www.facebook.com/STLPetloverCoalition/ (https://www.facebook.com/STLPetloverCoalition/)
USO of Missouri: https://www.usomissouri.org/what-we-do/facilities/ft-leonard-wood/ (https://www.usomissouri.org/what-we-do/facilities/ft-leonard-wood/)
Connect with Kelly:
Western Missouri Regional Operations Director
USO of Missouri, Inc.
Fort Leonard Wood USO
805 Iowa Ave.
Fort Leonard Wood, MO 65473
Support Services for Veterinary Professionals & Pet Owners
I’ve had the privilege to have known many veterinary professionals, from veterinarians, veterinary nurses and veterinary technicians over the years who have provided quality care to my pets. These professionals have challenges that most people are unaware of. Besides taking care of our animals, they also have to help their human clients deal with … Continue reading Support Services for Veterinary Professionals & Pet Owners →
Living Out What You Love: Combining Passions with Jane Miller, LISW
There are so many benefits to having animals as part of our lives and the special benefit is their ability to provide emotional support. Besides unconditional love, they have a natural instinct to heal in a way that is often difficult to explain. In my previous episode I had mentioned that clients would often … Continue reading Living Out What You Love: Combining Passions with Jane Miller, LISW →
Veterinary Social Work with Dr. Pam Linden
Inside the Animal Academy Podcast I speak with people from all different areas of specialization’s regarding their experiences with a human/animal connection. My hope is to broaden all of our perspectives on what’s available and to spark interest in others that also appreciate the role that animals play in our lives. I met Dr. … Continue reading Veterinary Social Work with Dr. Pam Linden →
A Mentor To Our Youth – A Conversation With Charlotte Mielziner
In previous episodes I spoke with two young people who have participated in dog performance events and who are active in programs that help facilitate animal related activities. Today’s guest is a judge and dog trainer who is energetic and I am impressed with her ability to inspire others to work positively with their … Continue reading A Mentor To Our Youth – A Conversation With Charlotte Mielziner →