Animal Hospice Certification Programs


Self-Paced / On-Demand / Online

What to Expect Once Enrolled

  1. The Animal Hospice Group's all-encompassing Certification Program comprises of Level 1 Foundations Program that includes 24 hours of online learning, monthly live discussions with Animal Hospice Group Founders and students, focused reading on the best practices in Animal Hospice Care, quizzes to test your understanding, and a final exam to demonstrate your knowledge. Once you pass the exam, you will receive a Certificate of Completion plus the Certified Animal Hospice Foundations (CAHF) credentials.
  2. After completing the Level 1 Foundations Program, you may proceed to the Level 2 Counseling Program. You will be required to complete writing assessments and you will receive the Certified Animal Hospice Counseling (CAHC) credentials upon completion.
  3. The Level 3 Helpline Program is the final step and includes the Animal Hospice Group Internship on the Animal Hospice Helpline. Upon serving/training 48 hours on the Helpline, you will become a Certified Animal Hospice Helpline Specialist (CAHHS).
  4. Successful completion of all three levels will lead to your certification track as a Certified Animal Hospice Practitioner (CAHP).
Please read below for more details.

Full Certification Program Timeline:


Level 1 Foundations:

  • Includes the Coursework (Modules 1-9) - click here to see¬†list of lectures within Modules
  • It¬†is self-paced / on-demand / online
  • There are 24 hours of recorded lectures, recommended¬†reading, and quizzes
  • One exam when you have completed the Coursework
  • It is highly recommended to complete the Coursework¬†within 6¬†months of beginning the course/program
  • The time to complete¬†Level 2 and Level 3 are separate - see below
  • The full program includes Discussion Groups* and Peer Support Groups
  • You will receive a Certificate of Completion after all of the above (Modules 1-9 and attend a minimum of¬†8 hours of Discussion Group meetings) have been completed
  • You will also receive¬†the credentials of Certifed Animal Hospice Foundations (CAHF) after completing Level 1

> Click here for more details about Level 1 Foundations


Level 2 Counseling:

  • Online/virtual counseling training
  • Instruction by expert mentors
  • LIVE on Zoom
  • They are 2-hour sessions on Sundays
  • Level 2¬†is approximately 5 consecutive weeks (depending on holidays)
  • This level is offered in the Spring and Fall¬†
  • During¬†Level 2, there will be written assessments
  • Includes Discussion Groups and Peer Support Groups (not required but you are welcome to continue to join in)
  • We accommodate our International Students - there are options with the time difference
  • You will receive¬†the credentials of¬†Certifed Animal Hospice¬†Counselor (CAHC)¬†after completing Level¬†2

> Click here for more details about Level 2 Counseling


Level 3 Helpline:

  • Online/remote internship training and staffing for the Animal Hospice Helpline
  • Expert mentors guide you along the way
  • Level¬†3 Training takes place LIVE virtually/online on Zoom
  • There will be 2 Sessions on 2 separate Sundays
  • This level is offered¬†in the Winter and Summer
  • There will be an additional 6 to 8 hours of guided recordings/tutorials
  • 48 hours advising on the Helpline under AHG Mentorship
  • 60¬†hours total of training
  • Click here¬†to¬†learn more about the Internship.¬†
  • Includes Discussion Groups and Peer Support Groups (not required but you are welcome to continue to join in)
  • We accommodate our International Students - there are options with the time difference.
  • You will receive¬†the credentials of¬†Certifed Animal Hospice Helpline Specialist (CAHHS)¬†after completing Level 3

> Click here for more details about Level 3 Helpline 


CAHP Certification Track

  • The¬†certification levels are offered in a way that you can move¬†to the next level to fit your schedule
  • Level 1 is Self-Study
  • Level 2 is offered twice a year in the Spring and Fall
  • Finally, Level 3 is offered twice a year in the Summer and Winter
  • You will receive the complete certification as a¬†Certified Animal Hospice Practitioner (CAHP)¬†after all of the above (prior Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3) have been completed.

> Click here for more details about the CAHP Certification Track


*Discussion Groups

  • LIVE on Zoom! One or two AHG Founders with Students and Interns.
  • Held¬†multiple times a month (up to 2-hour meetings), alternating days, mornings, and/or afternoons. The morning Discussion Groups are a good option for International Students with the time difference.
  • Required to attend at least 8 hours of Discussion Group meetings for graduation with a Certificate of Completion or Level 1 CAHF.
Enroll & Begin Your Educational Journey in Animal Hospice & Palliative Care

Course Curriculum (Modules 1-9)

Required for Certificate of Completion with the Certified Animal Hospice Foundations (CAHF) Program

Request a printable list of Lectures within the Modules
Animal Hospice Group - Module 1

Module 1:

Introducing Animal Hospice and Palliative Care

Instructors: Dr. Kathryn Marocchino, Michelle Nichols, Gail Pope, and Dr. Amir Shanan

Uncover the evolution of animal hospice care with industry pioneers. Understand the intricate differences and similarities between human and animal hospice and palliative care, and delve into the unique terminology of this compassionate field.

  • Lecture 1: The Evolution of the Animal Hospice Movement
  • Lecture 2: Fundamentals of Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Lecture 3: A Pioneer's Perspective
  • Lecture 4: Ethical and Legal Issues
Animal Hospice Group - Module 2

Module 2:

Managing an Animal's Well-being through Decline, Disability, and End of Life: Navigating A Terminal Diagnosis

Instructors: Gail Pope, Dr. Amir Shanan, and Michelle Nichols

Learn to manage an animal's well-being through terminal diagnoses. Explore the role of the hospice care team as a guiding light in these challenging times and understand the nuances of euthanasia decision-making.

  • Lecture 1: Managing an Animal's Well-being Through Decline, Disability, and End of Life: Navigating a Terminal Diagnosis
  • Lecture 2: The Animal Hospice and Palliative Care Team As a Navigation System
  • Lecture 3: Planning for a Path of Least Regrets - Euthanasia Decision-Making
Animal Hospice Group - Module 3

Module 3:

Practical Patient Issues and Nursing Care

Instructors: Dr. Amir Shanan and Gail Pope

Gain insights into the central role of veterinary nurses and their diverse tasks‚ÄĒmaster practical skills in patient comfort, medical care, and creating a patient comfort care kit.

  • Lecture 1: The Nurses' Roles
  • Lecture 2: Practical Animal Hospice Patient Issues and Nursing Care
Animal Hospice Group - Module 4

Module 4:

Quality of Life (for Living and for Dying) in the Animal Hospice Patient

Instructor: Dr. Amir Shanan

Delve into what ‚Äúquality of life‚ÄĚ means in animal hospice care. Explore its physical, psychological, and social domains, ensuring a dignified life journey for every animal.

  • Lecture 1: What is ‚Äúquality of life,‚ÄĚ and why is it important in end-of-life care?
  • Lecture 2: Physical, Psychological, and Social Domains of Animals' Quality of Life
Animal Hospice Group - Module 5

Module 5:

Understanding the Animal Dying Experience

Instructors: Gail Pope and Dr. Kathryn Marocchino

Explore the physical and behavioral changes during an animal's final stages. Learn about death awareness, consciousness, existential suffering, and how these affect both animals and their human families.

  • Lecture 1: Physical and Behavioral Changes During the Stages of Dying
  • Lecture 2: Awareness of Death and Existential Suffering
Animal Hospice Group - Module 6

Module 6:

End-of-Life Options and After Death Care

Instructors: Gail Pope, Dr. Amir Shanan, and Dr. Kathryn Marocchino

Discuss hospice-supported natural death and the various facets of euthanasia. Learn about after-death care, including honoring the animal through rituals, funerals, and more.

  • Lecture 1: Hospice-Supported Natural Death
  • Lecture 2: End-of-Life Options - Euthanasia
  • Lecture 3: Caring for the Animal Patient After Death
Animal Hospice Group - Module 7

Module 7:

Care for the Caregivers

Instructors: Dr. Kathryn Marocchino, Dr. Amir Shanan, and Michelle Nichols

Focus on caregivers' mental health. Understand the emotional, psychological, and spiritual support they require, enhancing your communication skills and caregiving strategies.

  • Lecture 1: Mental Health Considerations in Caring for Animal Hospice and Palliative Caregivers and Providers
  • Lecture 2: Helpful Interventions by Animal Hospice Practitioners
  • Lecture 3: Spiritual Care of the Caregiver and the Dying Animal
  • Lecture 4: Supporting the Caregiver's Grief Recovery
Animal Hospice Group - Module 8

Module 8:

Grief and Honoring the Life

Instructors: Michelle Nichols and Dr. Kathryn Marocchino

Understand the complexities of grief, including anticipatory and disenfranchised grief. Learn to create meaningful rituals and keepsakes to honor the memory of companion animals.

  • Lecture 1: Understanding Grief: Grief Theories and the Bereavement Needs of Diverse Populations
  • Lecture 2: Honoring the Legacy: Memorialization and Aftercare Options
Animal Hospice Group - Module 9

Module 9:

The Practitioner's Experience

Instructor: Michelle Nichols

Engage in the nuances of interdisciplinary teamwork. Learn about the roles of various team members and enhance your understanding of case management, spiritual care, and community resource networking.

  • Lecture 1: Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) Dynamics
  • Lecture 2: The Interdisciplinary Team and YOU: Building Veterinary Partnerships
  • Lecture 3: Roles in Animal Hospice IDT: Case Manager, Mental Health and Spiritual Care

Certified Animal Hospice Practitioner (CAHP) Track

Levels 1, 2, and 3 = CAHP Track

Level 1 - Certified Animal Hospice Foundations (CAHF) 

The first level of the CAHP Certification Track is designed to furnish a comprehensive and fundamental understanding of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care, taught by the Founders of the Animal Hospice Group. The four Animal Hospice Group Founders bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Coursework, ensuring that you receive personal instruction during LIVE Zoom Discussion Groups and high-quality self-paced online recorded instruction. It is an essential milestone in your journey to becoming certified as a Certified Animal Hospice Practitioner.

Learn About Level 1 Foundations

Level 2 - Certified Animal Hospice Counselor (CAHC)

Our Level 2 program is an important next step in your journey. It combines what you learned in the Level 1 Coursework with practical experiences that help you better understand and connect with pet parents. This level is about turning your knowledge into helpful counseling guidance.

You'll master the art of navigating complex conversations about terminal diagnoses, end-of-life choices, and grief recovery. You'll learn how to be a guiding light for pet parents in uncertain times while inspiring them to stay positive and hopeful.

Learn About Level 2 Counseling

Level 3 - Certified Animal Hospice Helpline Specialist (CAHHS)

Level 3 Certified Animal Hospice Helpline Specialist Program is your chance to shine as a leader in Animal Hospice and Palliative Care. You will apply your counseling skills in a real-world setting and handle diverse scenarios with pet owners. You will master the skill of navigating complex conversations, becoming a guiding light for pet parents in emotional turmoil.

You will receive mentorship from Senior Advisors, refining your skills, and enhancing your ability to handle complex emotional situations. Get ready to make a difference in the world of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care with the Level 3 CAHHS Program.

Learn About Level 3 Helpline
Become a Certified Animal Hospice Practitioner (CAHP)!
Learn More About CAHP Track

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