Our Team

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Kathleen Cooney DVM, MS, CHPV, CCFP Founder, Director of Education

Kathleen has been practicing advanced end-of-life care since 2006.  She is well-known for her work in companion animal euthanasia and has authored two books on the subject. Dr. Cooney has collaborated in euthanasia training for the AVMA, AAHA, IAAHPC, HABRI, the Fear Free program, and is Founder and Director of Education for the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA). The core certificate program is Dr. Cooney's design and is based around the The 14 Essential Components of Companion Animal Euthanasia. She is a strong advocate for best practices in all aspects of end-of-life care and speaks nationally and internationally on such topics.  Dr. Cooney is also the Chief Medical Officer for Caring Pathways USA and past President of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) and remains active in their organization, including design of their Animal Hospice and Palliative Care Certification Program, launched in 2016. Dr. Cooney is working towards board certification in animal welfare and is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Provider.

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Shea Cox, DVM, CHPV, CVPP, CPLP Strategy & Business Development

Dr. Shea Cox is a global leader and subject matter expert in veterinary hospice and palliative care. With a focus on technology, innovation and education, her efforts are changing the end-of-life landscape in veterinary medicine, and as a Telehealth advocate, she is working to change the laws around how veterinarians can use Telemedicine to care for their patients at end of life. In addition to launching the first hospice and palliative care service integrated within a specialty hospital setting in 2012, she was the first to launch a nationwide Telehealth platform dedicated to quality of life and end-of-life support in 2017.

Other professional endeavors include:
• Worked as a Registered Nurse in areas of home health and hospice for nearly a decade
• International lecturer
• Developed a 115-hr program to certify veterinarians and technicians in hospice and palliative care
• Authored 13 textbook chapters relating to hospice care
• Served as a hospice consultant (VIN) to over 65,000 veterinarians worldwide
• Co-authored the American Animal Hospital Association End of Life Guidelines
• Co-authored the AAHA/AVMA Telehealth Guidelines for Small Animal Practice
• Past President of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care

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Stephanie Messick Academy Director

Stephanie Messick’s passion for advancing missions which elevate end-of-life pet care began in 2012. Stephanie  worked in animal welfare in Florida, then transitioned to pet aftercare service in 2015 when she joined The Pet Loss Center. She partnered with veterinary teams across the states of Florida and Colorado to elevate their practice’s end-of-life care by providing world class cremation and pet loss services with the utmost dignity, honor and respect. In 2016 Stephanie completed the Two Hearts Pet Loss Center certificate program in Pet Loss & Grief Companioning. During that time she presented continuing education curriculum to veterinary hospitals, veterinary medical associations and in 2018 at the Peter Piper Memorial Conference for Caloosa Veterinary Medical Society. In 2018, Stephanie received her Bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. With her unique combination of perspectives, Stephanie is a dedicated advocate for best practices in end-of-life pet support. She believes in commitment to continued euthanasia education, building relationships with and supporting veterinary teams, and a focus on enhancing client and patient experience with bereavement support, and exceptional aftercare programs.

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Lianna Titcombe DVM, CHPV International Director

Dr. Lianna dedicated her professional career to animal hospice beginning in 2012 when she opened one of the first veterinary practices in Canada devoted to end-of-life home care for companion animals. On the subject of animal hospice and palliative care she is an author, speaker, educator, and mentor. She is past president of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care and is still active with their international committee. In an effort to improve animal welfare more universally, Dr. Lianna participates in volunteer missions to provide veterinary care to underserved communities both locally and in developing countries. A large focus of her education has been the care of all the people involved in the end-of-life stage for companion animals. Dr. Lianna has been the director of the Pet Loss Support Group of Ottawa for over 20 years and, as a certified yoga instructor, is now offering grief retreats to people living with loss. Recognizing that her true passion is the art of gentle euthanasia, Dr. Lianna joined the CAETA team in 2021 as the international director and instructor. Her goal is to expand the CAETA vision to a global scale, ever approaching the ultimate mission: to ensure that all animals, including humans, have the peaceful death that they deserve.

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Amy Rascanin, MBA Director of Academic Relations

Amy Rascanin (BA, University of Plattsburgh; MBA, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey) joins the CAETA team as Director of Academic Relations. With 15+ years of marketing strategy and public relations experience, Amy has worked with clients in diverse industries, including computer software, clean tech/renewable energy, and financial services. As a strategic thinker, Amy uses her vision to help CAETA expand its reach of comprehensive training to veterinary colleges worldwide, seek partnerships, and explore media and speaking opportunities.

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Lacey Lancaster Administrative Assistant

Lacey Lancaster first became passionate about companion animal euthanasia best practices in 2006 when she worked for the animal control serving her hometown and surrounding rural areas. Her tenure there ignited a passion for animal sheltering and she was able to take that experience, along with her training as a veterinary assistant, to a humane society serving a larger area. After deciding to return to school to complete her Bachelor's degree in 2015, she took a part-time job with PetSmart, which served to further enhance her respect for the human-animal bond and think more critically about the ways in which we can best honor it. After graduation, she took a job with the University of Georgia's Veterinary Teaching Hospital as an Administrative Associate. In this role, she took a special interest in providing resources and comfort to clients facing end-of-life care decisions. Her enthusiasm for this type of work led to forming a close relationship with the school's clinical counselor which ultimately led her to discover the work of CAETA. Lacey's passion for improving end-of-life care for companion animals and the people who love them, as well as her penchant for going above and beyond to serve in her role as support staff, make her a welcome addition to the CAETA team.

 

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Suzen Gregersen DVM, MBA, MRCVS Advisor

Suzen Gregersen founded Vets2Home (2006), a mobile veterinary service on the South Coast of England. Vets2Home assisted families and their pets with personal, quality veterinary care in the comfort of their own home. In 2012, after personally attending over 6000 patients, Vets2Home was re-launched as Peaceful Pet Goodbyes, enabling Dr. Gregersen to specialize in providing 24/7 palliative medicine, hospice care, and gentle home euthanasia. Along with her end-of-life service, Dr. Gregersen is a regular animal hospice columnist for Cat World; a consultant in end-of-life services (SunsetPet.Solutions), and is an executive program consultant with Compassion Understood, the first research-based online CPD training course in pet loss and end-of-life services for the whole vet practice team. In 2015, she co-founded the first British Mobile Veterinary Association (BMVA) and in 2017, Dr. Gregersen became one of the first European representatives to join the board of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC).