About Us & Contact


vtsw-logo-slow-5xCopyright University of Tennessee Veterinary Social Work Program


Veterinary social work is a specialization which focuses on attending to the human needs at the intersection of veterinary and social work practice. Utilizing a strengths perspective and evidence-based practices, it includes four key areas: animal-related grief and loss, compassion fatigue, animal-assisted interactions (therapy and service animals), and the link between human violence and animal abuse. Veterinary social work is a growing field, and social workers are being called upon to work in settings where animals and people are in relationship with one another and in need of supportive services. Our program was founded by and is led by Rachel Wright, MSW, LSWAIC (Veterinary Social Worker). Our interdisciplinary team focus at Summit Veterinary Referral Center is supporting clients through the grief process (anticipatory and bereavement); being a liaison and advocate between clients and the veterinary team; assisting clients with difficult treatment decisions and end-of-life care;  helping to support and provide counseling to doctors and veterinary staff in the areas of stress management, compassion fatigue, and the intersection of mental health and veterinary medicine.

The Veterinary Social Work team understands that each person’s beloved animal is a precious member of their family and that each relationship and experience is unique to that person. We know how overwhelming and challenging it can be to face treatment decision-making and the end-of-life process. You are not alone – we are here for you. Our team is comprised of a licensed masters-level veterinary social worker, a social work extern (and when appropriate, supervised masters-level social work students).

This blog is managed and written by Summit Veterinary Referral Center’s veterinary social work team: Rachel Wright, veterinary social worker and social work extern, Allison Rolfe.

We would love to hear from you! For more information on Summit’s veterinary social work services, please visit: http://www.summitvets.com/social-work.html

For our current listing of support groups and events, please visit: https://www.summitsocialwork.com/news-and-events

Contact Us: 

Rachel Wright – rwright@summitvets.com, 253.983.1114 extension 116

Allison Rolfe – socialwork@summitvets.com, 253.983.1114 extension 116

Social work cell phone: 253.290.1556

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