About Social Work at AMC

Honoring the Human-Animal Bond

Our animal companions are with us through life’s celebrations and trials, and you want to be there for them when they need it most. When your animal companion is facing health challenges, our team will be with you every step of the way, making sure the humans and animals in your family get the support and compassion you deserve.

About Social Work at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center

At AMC, our full-time, on-site licensed clinical social worker is part of your animal’s care team. We understand both the practical and emotional challenges that come with the illness or loss of a beloved animal companion. Our social worker is here to provide support both during and after your animal’s stay at AMC.

We can help you and your family in the following ways:

  • Making difficult end-of-life decisions
  • Helping your family cope with your animal’s illness at home
  • Helping you talk to your children about your animal’s illness or death
  • Facilitating discussions or meetings with your animal’s medical team
  • Directing you to community resources, including mental health services and pet-related services
  • Being present before, during, and/or after euthanasia
  • Providing educational resources about your animal’s diagnosis, treatment, or the grief/loss process
  • Offering free Pet Loss Support Group

About Veterinary Social Work

Veterinary social work is a subspecialty of social work that focuses on supporting the needs of the human side of relationships between people and animals. Though they often overlap, the four areas of veterinary social work are: grief and bereavement, compassion fatigue, the link between human and animal violence, and animal-assisted interventions. Here at AMC, our focus is on providing end-of-life and bereavement support to clients, serving as a liaison and advocate between clients and the medical team, and assisting staff with managing stress and reducing compassion fatigue. We are dedicated to supporting and nourishing the bond between families and their animal companions as well as that between animals and their devoted medical providers.

Judith Harbour, LCSW

Staff Veterinary Social Worker

Judith Harbour is AMC’s full-time, on-site licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). She has years of experience working with individuals and families across the lifespan. She holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) from Fordham University and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Rice University. Judith has completed the post-graduate Veterinary Social Work Certificate Program from the University of Tennessee.