London’s first holistic palliative and hospice care organisation for pets opens its proverbial doors

London, 19 April 2022: Autumn Animals, the capital’s first holistic palliative and hospice care organisation for companion animals, announces it has begun trading. The company offers care and support for both animals and caregivers physically, emotionally, and spiritually with services ranging from in-home health care by qualified veterinary nurses, respite care pet sitting, supplementary therapies such as acupuncture and osteopathy and End of Life Doula (emotional support) services. 

The UK has always been a nation of pet lovers, with an average pet ownership of 45 per cent between 2011 and 2019. This number drastically rose to 59 per cent in 2020/21, due to mass purchasing and adopting of pets during the COVID-19 virus lockdowns1. The pet sector has increasingly become a booming business with its own niches in the diet, training, apparel, and breeding spheres. However, little attention has yet been given to the end of life of companion animals. 

Just like in humans, our furry friends are increasingly becoming older due to advancements in medical care and diets, but most of the veterinary care profession has not been able to keep up due to the sector being inundated and overstressed. The overstretched system has left a gap for the pet caregiver that wants to provide their companion animal the best end of life care possible but needs specialist support.

Founder and CEO of Autumn Animals, Sieske Valk, sees the inception of Autumn Animals as laying the first brick towards creating a framework in which the caregivers of all those COVID-19 pups and kittens will be supported in a decade’s time, when these pets will start getting old and/or sick. 

“I wanted to make sure that people are supported throughout all stages of their pets’ lives, so that they are not left traumatised and burnt-out by the ‘Autumn’ and ‘Winter’ of their beloved pet’s life. We want to be there from the moment a pet gets diagnosed, helping to extend the lifespan of the animal while maintaining the best quality of life, adequately planning for when the time comes to say goodbye and making sure the caregivers feel empowered, supported, and peace of mind after the final stage.”

Furthermore, Ms. Valk is trying to change the idea of what a veterinary care organisation looks like “A typical vetinary practice is staffed almost solely by white and able-bodied people in a brick-and-mortar environment. These people work long shifts that are not compatible with family life or other responsibilities, let alone hobbies. We want to change that.” 

Autumn Animals is a flexible, carbon neutral employer, which values an inclusive and diverse team of animal carers. Employees will enjoy a host of benefits ranging from mentoring to reimbursement of travel costs. Most of all they will be part of a new, exciting, and paradigm-shifting project where they will be valued for their expertise and input. 

“From experience, I know how frustrating it can be for veterinary nurses to have received all the training, but not feel valued for their experience and knowledge. I have always wanted to create an organisation where all team members feel like they are allowed to provide care as they see fit because they are trusted and valued for their expertise.”

Autumn Animals is looking for more Registered Veterinary Nurses and Registered Veterinary Surgeons from varied backgrounds that would like to work a few hours per week in the beginning with the potential to increase as the company grows. It is also looking for student veterinary nurses and veterinarians to help with in-home respite pet sitting with the possibility to become an Autumn Animals Veterinarian or RVN after graduation.

If you are interested in this or want to know more about the company’s philosophy and values, visit www.autumnanimals.com or email Sieske at hello@autumnanimals.com .

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