Dear Friends and Supporters:


It is once again with a heavy heart that The Nikki Hospice Foundation for Pets announces that the Fourth International Symposium on Animal Hospice Care cannot be held this year, despite our best intentions. My own unforeseen health issues, which began developing in fall of 2014—requiring me to go on intermittent family medical leave for the entire academic year—have ultimately prevented me from completing the time-consuming and difficult but necessary work that is always in order when a conference of this magnitude is being planned.


Although we continued to hope, against enormous odds, that it might still be possible to pull the conference together at the last minute with minimal assistance and a modicum of resources, it is now more than ever apparent that even postponing the symposium to a later date this year would not be in the best interests of the public or of the speakers, nor would it do the conference justice given the importance of animal hospice and the seriousness of the message we wish to convey. Furthermore, complications that ensued over the summer and into the fall are now making the viability of such a plan completely unfeasible.


We earnestly feel, nonetheless, that if we persevere toward our goal, give ourselves adequate time for long-range planning, and enlist the full assistance of a hard-working team of event coordinators, we should be able to hold the FISAHC in late summer of 2018. Although this date may seem very far off to our supporters and our prospective attendees, The Nikki Hospice Foundation for Pets and the California Holistic Veterinary Medical Association are confident that this new and synergetic conference has the potential to become the best symposium we have offered our public thus far. 


We know that so many of you were again eagerly looking forward to this year’s event, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this second postponement may have caused you. We will certainly do our utmost to bring our conference back to life in 2018, but we ask that you bear with us once again as we attempt to recover our health, revive our spirits and renew our efforts. Meanwhile, may life bestow its bounty and its unexpected wonders on both you and your companion animals, wherever you may be. And may you all continue to discover, embrace and promote the profound compassion and comforting care that is animal hospice—the heart and soul of our symposium.


Wishing you peace and wishing you grace,               




Kathryn D. Marocchino, PhD

Fellow in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement

President and Founder

The Nikki Hospice Foundation for Pets