Harrison Family Vets in Reading has become the first practice outside North America to achieve ‘Fear Free Veterinary Practice Certification’.

The Fear Free movement was founded in 2016 by US veterinary surgeon Dr Marty Becker.

Marty said: “Just like with humans, a pet can’t be optimally healthy unless they’re also happy.

"Fear, anxiety, and stress (FAS) raise the levels of hormones that are destructive to both the body and mind.

"Fear Free uses clinically proven protocols to remove or reduce FAS triggers, it takes steps to mitigate FAS so that the pet feels safe and calm during a veterinary visit.”

Since launch, over 320,000 veterinary professionals, pet professionals, animal welfare communities, and pet owners have registered for Fear Free’s programmes and courses, and Fear Free says it has become the accepted gold standard within North American veterinary practices.

Yvette Rowntree, Clinic Director at Harrison Family Vets in Reading, said: “This accreditation process has taken everything we do to the next level.

"With open and honest team conversations, development of realistic protocols and a subtle change in behaviours to ensure we always put the pet first within a supportive work environment, our entire team has worked hard to achieve this certification.”

Operations Director, Kristie Faulkner, from Harrison Family Vets, said: “Although it was possible for individuals to be Fear Free certified, this is the first time an entire practice has become certified.

"We have worked very closely with the Fear Free team during the past several months to enable detailed inspection and certification to take place, and we now intend for our other practices, in Dudley, Didsbury, Stockton, and Doncaster, to each reach this standard and become officially certified in the immediate future.”

Fear Free’s CEO, Randy Valpy, said: “Harrison Family Vets’ certification is part of the Fear Free expansion into the UK, New Zealand and Australia and we are absolutely thrilled to have the Reading practice as our first UK Fear Free Certified Veterinary Practice.

"We now plan to certify further practices in the UK and support veterinary professionals who have the relevant knowledge and techniques to practise quality medicine, as well as understanding how to develop the utmost consideration for patient’s emotional health as well.”


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