Saying goodbye to our pets is never easy and the contribution they make in their lifetime is beyond measure. Their final contribution can be an infinite and lasting one too.
The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies now provides a Educational Memorial Programme (EMP) which is a chance to find meaning in the loss of a beloved pet, and a way of honouring a wonderful life, by donating your pet’s body to help educate and train the vets of the future.
The vets of tomorrow
Throughout our pets’ lives we rely on a vet’s knowledge and expertise to keep our animals healthy and comfortable. The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies endeavours to produce highly-skilled, compassionate professionals able to provide the best possible quality of care for generations of animals to come. Taking part in the EMP is an important contribution to the animals and vets of the future, both through research and education – and a way of ensuring that our animals continue to receive high-quality veterinary care.
Just as medical schools use humans for teaching and research, veterinary schools rely on animal bodies to teach animal anatomy and pathology and to further research. Veterinary students and clinicians within the School are deeply grateful for, and respectful of, the invaluable learning and research opportunities provided by the EMP. They recognise the irreplaceable gift they are given, and treat the animals with respect and dignity at all times.
A lasting legacy
The act of giving something back to the pets and vets of the future can bestow a sense of purpose amidst the grief and loss.
What can I do?
Please consider the possibility of taking part in this immensely worthwhile program. We understand that the loss of a pet is always a very difficult and upsetting time, and for that reason we would never routinely discuss this as a post-mortem option with you unless you express a prior interest. If you are considering this, or would like more details our team at Lamond will be happy to help, or if you prefer, we have leaflets available at reception.
What happens to my pet once I choose to donate its body?
When the time comes for you to say good bye, your pet will be euthanised by one of our veterinary surgeon as is normally done, allowing you time to say good bye in your own way. We will then contact the Veterinary School on your behalf and their staff will collect your pet’s body from our practice.
If your pet dies at home, please contact us for advice.
Once the teaching or research procedures on your pet’s body are complete, the remains will be cremated. When making your decision, please be aware that the University will not be able to provide any information to you or us about your pet with regards to the results of any post mortem examination. Unfortunately you will also be unable to collect your pet’s remains, including the ashes.
Health history of your pet
We will ask you whether we can provide your pet’s health history to the vet school in order to enhance student learning or research, and we would reassure you that any information that would identify you is removed before the student sees the health history.
How do I proceed?
Should you decide to donate your pet’s body we will need to ask you to complete and sign a donation consent form.
A copy of this form is available from our reception and we recommend that you review it prior to making any decisions. Equally if you have further queries and would like to discuss matters with the vet school directly please do not hesitate to contact one of the Dick Vet EMP coordinators at DickVetEMP@ed.ac.uk
Thank you for your consideration, which is greatly appreciated.
What happens afterwards?
As a token of their gratitutate your pet will be remembered in the Vet School’s memorial book. You are also invited to send them a photograph of your pet which can be added to their entry.