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Pet owners get help beyond veterinary care through new social work program

dog getting a check up ata  veterinarian
When pets receive care at the Human Society's veterinarian office, a social worker can also help pet owners with their needs beyond pet care.

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton has launched a new program to help people with more than just their pets.

Through their new One Health program, a manager who is a licensed social worker and can assist clients who may be experiencing pressing needs outside of the veterinary care needed for their pets.

Many pet owners who go to the Dayton Humane Veterinary Hospital voice concerns about problems in their daily lives, according to the Humane Society. That could be issues like food insecurity, homelessness or grief.

That’s when the program manager can step in, connecting them with community resources such as the food bank or mental health counselors.

“The One Health program manager works with people who are presenting some of these other needs that they have in their lives and our social workers are essentially directing them to resources and being an advocate for them to find those resources to help them," Brian Weltge, president & CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, said.

The program manager will also help them understand their pets' treatment options, Weltge said.

“The veterinarian, many times, will have to explain some complicated procedure or terminology that might be hard for someone to understand," Weltge said. "And our veterinary social worker, the One Health program manager, will be in the room with them and help to explain.”

The program is paid for by a grant from an anonymous foundation.

Learn more about the One Health program by contacting the Dayton Humane Veterinary Hospital at (937) 965-4399.