Dr. Laurie Brush, founder of Heaven at Home Pet Hospice, and Ginny Makita are delighted to be speaking at the West Michigan Veterinarian Medical Association dinner on Tues., Nov. 27 at John Ball Zoo to help local vets improve the euthanasia experience for clients and support bereaved pet parents.
In “The Client’s Perspective on Euthanasia and How You Can Improve the In-Hospital Euthanasia Experience,” Dr. Brush will share information and stories of her experience helping pet parents give their fur-babies peaceful passings.
Ginny Makita, Facilitator of the West Michigan Pet Loss Support Group, will share tips for helping people who are Grieving Pet Loss During the Holidays. Together, they hope to raise awareness of options available for compassionate end-of-life care for animals and the benefits of grief support for bereaved pet parents.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to familiarize many of my veterinarian peers with the ongoing research and work of the International Association for Animal Palliative Care. In vet school, there is so much material we cover, but we’re often not able to focus on end-of-life and hospice care. Yet a large percentage of pets today are entering their senior years, and need assistance,” Dr. Brush said.
Dr. Brush became one of the first 100 veterinarians in the world to receive her Animal Hospice and Palliative Care Certification from the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC). She earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University. As a practicing vet since 1998, she became involved in the movement toward in-home palliative care and euthanasia, beginning with her own 17-year-old rescue dog, Herkemer. Through her personal experience, she became a passionate advocate for peaceful at-home transitions.
She started Heaven at Home Pet Hospice almost 7 years ago. Heaven at Home has grown into a team of 3 doctors and 3 Care Coordinators to better serve the West Michigan area. She is a member of the IAAHPC, the American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA), the MVMA, the WMVMA and the International Veterinary Association of Pain Management (IVAPM).
Ginny Mikita, JD, hosts the West Michigan Loss Grief Support Group at Heaven at Home the first Tuesday of each month from 6:30 – 8 p.m. The group is designed to provide a safe, confidential and structured space where those bound by the experience of the impending loss or death of a companion animal can come together on a regular basis to share stories, receive validation of concerns and feelings, learn about grief and the mourning process and reflect upon the meaning of it all.
Ginny is a ’91 graduate of Notre Dame Law School and Master of Divinity/Center for Loss, Death and Grief Studies Certification candidate. She and her husband, Bob Kruse, have their own compassion-social justice-based law practice, in which they represent the voiceless, neglected, abused and unaccompanied refugee children, animals and those who care for and provide them with medical and shelter services and incapacitated adults. Ginny has also served in human hospital settings.
Ginny regularly officiates Blessings of the Animals in both religious and secular environments. For example, her most recent Blessing occurred October 6th (the 10th annual) in conjunction with ArtPrize at the Saint Francis Sculpture Garden & Path at the Dominican Center. Her next Blessing will occur at LaughFest’s People and Pets Event at Ford Field House in March 2019.
The dinner and presentation will be held in the Zoo Ballroom at 1300 Fulton St, just south of the main entrance to the zoo.
Veterinarians interested in attending the WMVMA can RSVP by Nov. 26 to firstname.lastname@example.org.