Fear Free initiative exceeds expectations more than ten-fold in first year with over 14,000 veterinary professionals enrolled in certification program
Denver, Colo. – Before it launched, developers of the Fear FreeSM training and certification initiative projected it would enroll 1,000 veterinary and other animal care professionals in its first year. Instead, this past week they soared past 14,000, with around 5,500 having already achieved certification.
Designed to “take the the ‘pet’ out of ‘petrified’” and reduce fear, anxiety, and stress in pets receiving veterinary care, Fear Free was founded by Dr. Marty Becker and developed by a 160-member advisory panel comprised of board-certified veterinary behaviorists, veterinary technician behavior specialists, board-certified veterinary anesthetists, well-known veterinary practice management experts, boarded veterinary practitioners experienced in Fear Free methods, hospital and animal shelter designers, medical icons, and other experts.
“The success of this program is owed to three main factors,” said Becker. “First, Fear Free is the right thing to do; nobody gets involved with veterinary medicine to make life worse for animals. Second, Fear Free allows veterinary professionals to practice a higher quality of medicine while elevating care for their patients. Finally, pet owners are actively searching for individuals with certification to take care of their pets, so practitioners are flocking to certification because of market demand.”
In addition to the core certification program, Fear Free also offers level 2 training and specialty CE courses such as the Foundation for Kittens and Puppies.
The initiative is popular worldwide, with enrollees representing more than 1,500 practices in 21 countries. Current projections show between 25,000 and 30,000 professionals will be enrolled in the 8-module program by the end of 2017.
“Fear Free has added an amazing fresh perspective in our professional interactions with our patients and clients,” said. Dr. Thomas F. Meyer, currently serving as president of the AVMA. “Our entire veterinary team has bonded to make sure each pets visit is a positive and enjoyable experience. Our clients see how we embrace the human-animal bond by our commitment to a Fear Free visit. This is a game changer and a must for every pet.”
Fear Free approaches harken back to an earlier era of veterinary medicine, points out Dr. Stephen J. Ettinger, who helped found the first private group veterinary specialty practice in the U.S. and is the author of the foundational Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
“It reminds all of us how important it is to communicate with both the client and the patient,” he said. “Keeping the patient comfortable and with a reduction in anxiety provides the owner with a more satisfying experience with their pet and the veterinarian. Patients experiencing less anxiety during their time at the veterinarian’s office gives the client a much greater sense of relief and permits better medicine, better communications, and really, better care. Why not incorporate this important part of our profession back into your practice?” Fear offers a variety of courses, from our core certification programs, to specialty CE courses.
Veterinary professionals can visit fearfreepets.com to sign up and begin the Fear Free certification program.
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About Fear Free
Developed by “America’s Veterinarian,” Dr. Marty Becker, the Fear FreeSM initiative aims to “take the ‘pet’ out of ‘petrified’” and get pets back for veterinary visits by promoting considerate approach and gentle control techniques used in calming environments. Utilization of Fear Free methods and protocols leads to reduction or removal of anxiety triggers, which creates an experience that is rewarding and safer for all involved including pets, their owners, and veterinary health care teams. The end result? Calmer, more accepting patients, more compliant clients, and better veterinary care. Learn more at www.fearfreepets.com.