Certification Prioritizes Emotional and Physical Well-Being of Pet Patients, Their Owners and Hospital Teams
AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In a groundbreaking achievement, the Heart of Texas Veterinary Specialty and 24-Hour Emergency Center in Round Rock, Texas, a Thrive Pet Healthcare partner, becomes the first combination emergency and specialty hospital to attain Fear Free Veterinary Practice Certification. This recognition highlights the hospital’s dedication to providing a stress-free environment for pets during medical crises, supporting pet owners coping with a beloved pet’s illness, and assisting hospital teams working in an emotionally charged setting.
Recognizing the impact of emotional health on physical well-being, the Heart of Texas team has integrated Fear Free practices into all aspect of patient and client care protocols. “We understand the unique stress that veterinary visits can have on pets and their families,” says Heart of Texas Veterinary Specialty and 24-Hour Emergency Center Medical Director Dr. Meighan Daly DeHart. “This certification required a team-wide effort. It’s more than a title; it’s a reflection of our commitment to provide a safe, effective and stress-free experience for all. We’re proud to lead the charge as the first ER/specialty hospital to embrace this game-changing philosophy fully.”
Fear Free, initiated by Dr. Marty Becker in 2016, provides online education and certification programs for veterinary professionals. “Fear Free practices are essential in modern veterinary medicine,” explains Dr. Becker. “The principles we advocate are not just about treating animals; they’re about creating a healing environment that reduces anxiety for everyone involved.”
To achieve Fear Free Practice Certification status, the Heart of Texas team underwent rigorous training, showing significant improvements in client retention, visit frequency, and care quality. Pet owners can expect to see the Fear Free philosophy in action, from the waiting room to the examination room, ensuring that every pet receives gentle, loving care tailored to their emotional needs. This approach not only helps pets feel more comfortable but also allows veterinary professionals to perform their roles with greater ease and safety.
“Seeing Heart of Texas Veterinary Specialty and 24-Hour Emergency Center become the first combination ER/specialty hospital to be Fear Free Certified is a landmark moment for us at Fear Free,” said Dr. Jennifer Merlo, Director of Veterinary Affairs at Fear Free. “Thrive Pet Healthcare’s commitment to integrating our principles has set a remarkable precedent in veterinary medicine. It exemplifies how a focused effort on reducing fear, anxiety and stress can transform the care experience for pets, their families, and the veterinary teams who work tirelessly to support them.”
Randy Valpy, CEO of Fear Free celebrates this achievement, stating, “The Heart of Texas Veterinary Specialty and 24-Hour Emergency Center is setting a new bar for veterinary excellence. Their dedication to the Fear Free mission is a beacon for other practices to follow.”
“When our hospitals achieve Fear Free Practice Certification status, that means they have taken the commitment to creating a stress-free environment to the next level,” says Dr. Kelly Cairns, Thrive Pet Healthcare’s Vice President of Medical Excellence and Education. “In doing so, they not only change the way their hospital operates, but they also transform the way pets and people experience veterinary care.”
Thrive Pet Healthcare’s initiative to integrate Fear Free practices across their network of more than 380 hospitals in 37 states has paved the way for veterinary establishments to elevate the standard of care.
In addition to Heart of Texas, the following eight Thrive Pet Healthcare partner hospitals have taken Fear Free philosophy and practice to the next level by achieving practice certification status:
Clark Veterinary Hospital, Nashua, New Hampshire
South Baton Rouge Animal Hospital, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Suburban Animal Hospital, Rochester, New York
Bargersville Veterinary Hospital and Wellness Center, Franklin, Indiana
Estrella Veterinary Hospital, Capistrano Beach, California
Saint Francis Veterinary Center of South Jersey, Swedesboro, New Jersey
Bloom Animal Hospital, Livonia, Michigan
Emergency Pet Clinic San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
To locate a Thrive Pet Healthcare location near you, including primary, specialty, urgent and emergency veterinary care services, visit www.ThrivePetCare.com.
About Thrive Pet Healthcare:
Thrive Pet Healthcare is a leading veterinary service network that uniquely delivers a continuum of care to pet families and services to veterinary hospitals. With an industry-first membership program and more than 380 acute, primary, and specialty providers, Thrive Pet Healthcare offers personalized, accessible care through every stage of a pet’s life and health. The veterinarian-founded organization provides premier benefits for practice staff while elevating privately held veterinary hospitals with innovative service and technology solutions. By focusing on the needs and aspirations of veterinary care providers, Thrive Pet Healthcare is supporting the well-being of the industry and raising the national bar for veterinary excellence. To learn more about Thrive Pet Healthcare, please visit www.thrivepetcare.com.
About Fear Free
Founded by Dr Marty Becker and developed by hundreds of experts in behavior, medicine, and handling, Fear Free offers online and in-person education to veterinary professionals, the pet professional community, animal shelter staff and volunteers, and pet owners. Fear Free provides both professionals and pet lovers alike with the knowledge and tools to look after a pet’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
Veterinary or pet professionals can learn more about becoming Fear Free Certified by visiting fearfreepets.com. Pet owners can visit fearfreehappyhomes.com to access free videos, articles, and more that will help improve the physical and emotional health of their pets right at home. Shelter, rescue, and animal welfare employees and volunteers can visit fearfreeshelters.com to enroll in the complimentary program.
SOURCE Thrive Pet Healthcare