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  News from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association                                                   Summer 2012

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Support for Families with Sick or Dying Pets at the Baltimore Humane Society
by
Wendy Goldband, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Volunteer Coordinator

Donít have the time or resources to give adequate counseling and support to families with very sick or dying pets? Baltimore Humane Society is here to help. Itís very difficult for most people as they prepare and cope with the loss of their furry companions; the loss of a pet can be as devastating as the loss of a human family member. Nicodemus Memorial Park at Baltimore Humane Society recognized the deep need that many families have for help through the grieving process and is now offering four free services to the entire Baltimore community of pet owners.

A free monthly pet bereavement support group is held the first Tuesday of every month by a member of the clergy and the Director of the Nicodemus Memorial Park. Anyone whose pet has passed away, been lost, sick, or dying is welcome to join the group at any time. The hope is that members will take comfort in sharing with others going through the same difficult experience. The group is a safe haven where individuals can freely talk about their pet knowing others are interested in hearing their story. It is a place of emotional and practical support helping participants cope with their loss. All thatís required to attend is an RSVP.

For those people who choose Nicodemus Memorial Park as their petís final resting place, immediate non-denominational private counseling is also available with an experienced member of the clergy. There is no charge for this service unless the bereaved chooses to continue with more sessions. Also, if necessary, we will provide free pick-up of the deceased pet.

An online support group has also been launched on Facebook for those who arenít inclined to go to the Tuesday monthly group. Itís called the Nicodemus Memorial Park Bereavement Support Group.  Pet owners are invited to post photos and stories about their lost pets. There is also a Notes page for discussions and helpful information. The page works to protect the privacy of its members by allowing posts only to be seen by group members.

Memorial services for loved ones are another important part of the grieving process. So Nicodemus Memorial Park at Baltimore Humane Society has decided to enhance its pet memorial services by including a complimentary option of a musical remembrance. A professional Cantor and a member of the clergy for over two decades, Ellen Schwab, sings a non-denominational psalm and one other selection of your choice at the memorial. Itís a spiritual addition to a service held on wooded, ethereal grounds.

All of these unique, new services are free. They are part of the mission of Baltimore Humane Society, the areaís only no-kill shelter, to treat all beings with compassion and to treat the passing of pets with the same respect given to any family member. The monthly pet bereavement support group meets the first Tuesday evening of each month at 7 p.m. in the office of the Nicodemus Memorial Park at Baltimore Humane Society in Reisterstown. RSVP is required at 410-833-8848 ext. 219 or amazan@bmorehumane.org/. If you would like to hang or distribute a flyer for any or all of these services please contact me at Goldband@bmorehumane.org.

About the Baltimore Humane Society

The Baltimore Humane Society, founded in 1927 by Mrs. Elsie Seeger Barton, is an independent, non-profit, no-kill animal shelter, which offers low-cost veterinary care to the public, and a pet cemetery with grief support services. We receive no funding from the local or federal governments, or any national animal welfare organizations. The Baltimore Humane Society is a proud member of BAWA (Baltimore Animal Welfare Alliance) along with the MD SPCA, BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter), and Baltimore City Animal Control. For more information about BHS, and how you can contribute, volunteer, adopt, or foster, please visit www.bmorehumane.org or call 410-833-8848, or text the word ďPAWĒ to 80000 to donate $10.

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Baltimore Humane Society

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