It’s official! The Pet Doctor is the world’s very first Fear FreeSM Certified Veterinary Practice! Dr. Marcy Hammerle, owner of The Pet Doctor, first became a Fear FreeSM Certified Veterinary Professional when the program launched in 2016. When the announcement came that her practice could become Fear FreeSM certified with the launch of the Practice Certification program on April 2, 2018, she made sure that she was the first veterinary hospital owner to apply.
The Pet Doctor’s mission has always been to, “Us[e] patient-focused care and low-stress handling techniques to protect and enhance the bond between people and their pets.” Becoming a Fear FreeSM Certified Veterinary Practice is just an extension of that mission. Dr. Marcy Hammerle personally coordinated the certification of her practice to ensure that The Pet Doctor remains at the forefront of veterinary medicine and continues to implement innovative processes and procedures.
Through the knowledge she gained in becoming a Fear FreeSM Certified Veterinary Professional, she even integrated Fear FreeSM best practices in the building of their new practice!
“We were in the process of building our new hospital when we heard a Fear Free practice certification program would be offered in the future,” Hammerle said. “We were able to build with Fear Free principles in mind – everything from slip-resistant flooring to dimmable lights to separate waiting areas for dogs and cats.”
It is incredible to see how veterinary professionals across the country are implementing Fear FreeSM methods and processes, and we are so excited to see how veterinary practices will create a Fear FreeSM environment for their patients!
What is Fear Free?
Fear FreeSM was first established in 2016, by “America’s Veterinarian,” Dr. Marty Becker, to “take the ‘pet’ out of ‘petrified.’” Through online and in-person courses, veterinary professionals and pet owners can learn and apply Fear FreeSM practices and procedures, all specifically designed to alleviate stress, anxiety, and fear in pets while visiting a veterinary practice. Fear FreeSM is backed by the knowledge of over 160 industry professionals, such as, “boarded veterinary behaviorists, boarded veterinary anesthesiologists, pain experts, boarded veterinary internists, veterinary technicians (behavior), experts in shelter medicine, animal training, grooming, boarding and more.”
Dr. Marty Becker has worked diligently to understand and improve animal health and well-being and shares his knowledge in this field with veterinary professionals and pet owners alike, through publications, talk shows, books, and lectures. It is his hope that through identifying ways in which veterinary practices may be contributing to stress and fear in pets and providing ways in which veterinary professionals and practices can relieve that stress, pet owners will feel comfortable in bringing their pets to the vet for care and proper treatment.
How Can You Become a Fear FreeSM Certified Veterinary Practice?
Are you a Fear FreeSM certified veterinary professional who is interested in gaining Fear FreeSM certification for your veterinary practice? If so, requirements are as follows;
- 25% or more of staff must be Fear FreeSM certified. This includes anyone who interacts with animals while they are at the practice, such as veterinarians, managers, receptionists, etc.
- Fear FreeSM procedures and processes must be implemented throughout the practice. The practice must also pass an on-site evaluation from a veterinarian who has achieved Fear FreeSM practice certification.
For more information, please visit the member portal on Fear FreeSM’s website.
Once a practice has earned a Fear FreeSM certification, it will have access to;
- Fear FreeSM certification for staff members.
- Access to guidance and tips from Fear FreeSM’s advisory group which consists of over 200 members!
- Monthly educational webinars
- May market themselves as a Fear FreeSM Certified Practice, and more!
We are privileged to be a part of the Fear FreeSM community, and are honoured to work with their team in creating a stress-free environment for pets!
To learn more about becoming a Fear FreeSM Certified Veterinary Practice, please visit their website.