WSU Veterinary Students Learning Real-Life Experiences of Grief - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

WSU Veterinary Students Learning Real-Life Experiences of Grief

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PULLMAN, WA - It's a place for people to call that need help coping with a lost loved one. But at Washington State University, it's grief counseling for a different type of family death.

Third year veterinary students Laura Baltodano and Kristen Britton have spent countless hours inside a call center on campus helping people from across the country deal with the death of a pet

"I actually got someone that she had a pet that she lost," said Laura Baltodano, WSU Veterinary student. "She was suicidal, and that call for me impressed upon me how much animals can mean to people."

For the last thirteen years the Washington State University veterinary program has used this hotline to help their students learn how people struggle when a pet is suddenly killed or euthanized

"I don't think sometimes vets realize how much that affects people for the rest of their life," said Baltodano.

"It's not something you think about until you're out in the real world," said Kristen Britton, WSU Veterinary student.

The hotline has students taking calls and answering emails for a couple hours every night and on the weekends. But for Baltodano and Britton, being able to help people cope with grief is just as important as learning real-life skills.

"This is just an amazing avenue to know that you've helped someone out," said Baltodano.

"It's a very influential experience that helps me keep going in school because you know what's out there," said Britton.

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