By Stephanie DiTraglia, CAETA Administrative Assistant
Like many of us who find ourselves within and among the veterinary industry, I’ve always known the animals’ world is where I wanted to be. Also like many, I thrive and find fulfilling satisfaction when I contribute to the ‘greater good’. The desire amongst veterinary care professionals to elevate standards of care is commendable and a driving force I can really get behind. As quoted by the great Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” As the newest member of the CAETA team, my worldview this week was flooded with this kind of ‘better’. From shelter work to private practice, I have come to appreciate the benefit of advanced euthanasia training.
For the past five years, I worked with a company that provided cremation aftercare services to veterinary hospitals and pet families. I aligned with the mission to provide world class care to pets and the people who love them. Working with veterinary teams daily to elevate their aftercare programs, there was an obvious and consistent need amongst my partners to improve and enhance the euthanasia experience. I was often asked about best practices surrounding client communication and bereavement support.
Many of our partners sought to implement “death care programs” and admittedly some others struggled to push through the “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality. As a premier aftercare service, we provided support materials and continuing education opportunities to our partners, in addition to body care and memorialization services. I reflect now on the substantial impact CAETA course completion has on these teams.
Beyond the core program content, students and graduates of CAETA are provided a variety of supplementary resources. For the teams who asked for language and communication structure, those tools and best practices can be found within the student library. For teams dedicated to standardizing and improving their final care policies and procedures, CAETA’s Team Training Manual is an incredible asset. The 14 Essential Components of Companion Animal Euthanasia are the go-to point of reference for all involved. These resources will ensure veterinary care professionals have the framework to do better.
Aftercare providers who go through CAETA would also become helpful aides to veterinary teams. Those providers would become familiar with euthanasia gold standards and could then be able to likewise elevate their own aftercare procedures to align with said standards. There is a growing trend to provide pet euthanasia directly at pet crematory/cemetery locations. Through the lense of a provider, I recognize wholly CAETA’s potential to improve performance and protect the reputation of aftercare providers.
It is my great honor to take a small part in the good death revolution. In my humble opinion, regardless of our role in the animal care and veterinary profession, we have the duty to do better when we know better. With a pet euthanasia program like CAETA’s, we have the opportunity to do just that .