End-of-life Care: Traditional Accreditation

It’s no secret that today’s pet owners increasingly view their pets as family. When veterinarians and their clients determine that euthansia is the most viable option, standards should be followed that respect the natural grief felt by both parties as well as the comfort and care given to the pet before and during the procedure.

End-of-life (EOL) care and decision-making embody the critical final stage in a pet’s life and are as important and meaningful as the sum of the clinical care provided for all prior life stages. These reasons are why AAHA developed the end-of-life care accreditation model.

AAHA’s new end-of-life care accreditation helps veterinary practices elevate these services so patients and clients receive appropriate supportive and emotional care, further enhancing and strengthening the human-animal bond. And team members of practices accredited in end-of-life care by AAHA benefit from the natural teambuilding and improved morale that comes from preparing for an AAHA evaluation.

Which Practices are Eligible for End-of-life Care Accreditation?

  1. An AAHA-accredited traditional practice with a dedicated department committed to providing end-of-life care services. The dedicated department may be brick-and-mortar and/or mobile.
  2. A practice solely dedicated to providing end-of-life care services. The practice may be brick-and-mortar and/or mobile.

Practices that are not AAHA-accredited and are not standalone end-of-life care practices are not eligible for AAHA’s end-of-life care accreditation at this time.

Interested in End-of-Life Care Accreditation?

Contact [email protected] for more information, including access to the End-of-Life Care standards.

Members can access the End-of-Life Care standards as a PDF file. AAHA-accredited members who wish to add end-of-life care accreditation should contact their designated practice consultant or reach us at [email protected].

How were the End-of-Life Care accreditation standards developed?

A task force consisting of AAHA’s Member Experience team and subject matter experts was created to establish the standards for this accreditation model. Led by Kathleen Cooney, DVM, MS, CHPV, CCFP, founder of Home to Heaven, and director of education for the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy, the task force reviewed current traditional accreditation standards, and, when differences were noted between general practice standards and end-of-life care, new standards were created to reflect those differences.

Additional standards reflecting unique methods of support and service related to end-of-life care were also added. Many of the standards developed by the task force are based on the 2016 AAHA/IAAHPC End-of-Life Care Guidelines; Dr. Cooney contributed to those guidelines as well.