In an effort to help pet owners celebrate the lives of their companion animals, both living and dead, Veterinary Social Work (VSW) at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine is hosting its winter Pet Memorial Celebration, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, from 6 – 8:30 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, allows people to reflect on the impact pets have on their lives. Participants are invited to bring a human-friendly food item to share that reminds them of their animal.

Sarina Lyall, VSW social worker, says the opportunity to gather with others who have also experienced the loss of an animal can be therapeutic. “People should realize they don’t have to grieve alone. They can share stories of beloved animals and know they are supported through their loss.” Lyall says the event is an opportunity to find new ways to memorialize their pets.

Participants are encouraged to bring copies of photos of their pet that can be used in a memorial art project.

The event will be held in the Sequoyah Room at the College of Veterinary Medicine on the campus of the UT Institute of Agriculture in Knoxville. The college is located at 2407 River Drive off Neyland Drive.

Reservations are required. Please RSVP by Wednesday, Dec. 4, by emailing or calling 865-755-8839.

One of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine educates students in the art and science of veterinary medicine and related biomedical sciences, promotes scientific research and enhances human and animal well-being.

In addition to the programs of the College of Veterinary Medicine, the UT Institute of Agriculture also provides instruction, research and public service through the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT AgResearch system of 10 research and education centers and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.