Shea Cox, Founder & CEO
BluePearl Pet Hospice
Dr. Shea Cox is a global leader and subject matter expert in veterinary hospice and palliative care. With a focus on technology, innovation and education, her efforts are changing the end-of-life landscape in veterinary medicine, and as a Telehealth advocate, she is working to change the laws around how veterinarians can use Telemedicine to care for their end-of-life patients.
In addition to launching the first hospice and palliative care service integrated within a specialty hospital setting in 2012, she was the first to launch a nationwide Telehealth platform dedicated to quality of life and end of life support in 2017.
In 2020, PetHospice was acquired by BluePearl Specialty + Emergency Pet Hospitals, a Mars Petcare company. Dr. Cox and her team will lead the expansion of hospice, palliative care and end-of-life services nationwide.
Other professional endeavors include:
- Worked first as a Nurses' Aide, then as a Registered Nurse, in areas of home health and hospice care for nearly a decade
- International lecturer
- Led the development of a 100-hour education program to certify veterinarians and technicians in hospice and palliative care
- Authored 12 textbook chapters relating to hospice care
- Served as a hospice consultant to over 65,000 veterinarians worldwide
- Developed the American Animal Hospital Association End of Life Guidelines
- Developed the AAHA/AVMA Telehealth Guidelines for Small Animal Practice
- Past President of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care
Hospice is Choosing A Fuller Life
Founder Dr. Shea Cox launched PetHospice in 2012 following a career path first as a human nurse, working in areas of hospice and palliative care, and then as an emergency and critical care veterinarian, working in referral specialty hospitals for 13 years.
PetHospice was launched to solve the disconnect between the time and support needed as end of life nears, and the lack of time the primary care veterinarian is able to provide during a typical 20-minute appointment.
Our goal is to redefine the relationship that exists between the veterinarian, the pet parent, and the pet and our model has broadened the scope of end of life care by bringing the pet parent into the equation to provide more complete care. Why? Because at end of life, the pet is not the only "patient" that needs support, the family does as well.
And that is the heart of what we do – we walk with families every step of the way to ensure they get the same level of care that their pet does during one of the most critical and emotional times in their relationship with them.
Our support includes in-home hospice and end of life care, nationwide telehealth services, professional grief counseling, and free online education and community support.
From day one, the mission of PetHospice has been a simple one: to make every pet’s end-of-life experience as meaningful as the life they’ve lived. Because we believe that making a better life for pets and their people, has to include making a better end of life for them as well.
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In the News
VETERINARIAN SUCCESS PODCAST: Shea Cox, DVM - Addressing the Needs in End of Life Care
VETERINARY INNOVATION PODCAST: Hospice Care for Pets
THE TODAY SHOW: What Veterinarians wished you knew before euthanizing your pet
DVM 360: Death and other client kindness
Pets get more happy moments because of our care
Older pets are not getting care
Older pets are not getting the care they need. In fact, 70% of geriatric dogs and 77% of geriatric cats go without care the last 18 months of life. This is just one reason why in-home hospice and palliative care services are so vital.
Hospice is not just for the final days of life
Hospice is all about helping a pet live life to the fullest for the time that remains, whether that is days or months. In fact, many pets are "in hospice" for well over a year, getting the support they need to continue living an amazing quality of life.
Does end-of-life care mean euthanasia only?
No. The term "end-of-life care" encompasses more than just euthanasia. It is care from the moment a bad diagnosis is made, or a decline in quality of life is seen, and it continues beyond the loss to include grief support for the family.