Betty  Carmack

Betty Carmack

Professor, Emerita

Dr. Betty Carmack has had a long standing professional interest in the Human Animal Bond, such as Animal Assisted Therapy and Healing Benefits of Companion Animals. She has authored numerous articles on the subject of the Human-Animal Bond and has been a guest on many radio and television programs concerning pet loss. Since 1982, Dr. Carmack has led the monthly Pet Loss Support Group at the San Francisco SPCA. She is the author of a book, Grieving the Death of a Pet, which was published by Augsburg Publishing Co. in 2003. Additionally, she has a private practice in which she works with those grieving the death of an animal companion. She also maintains her clinical practice through her work at an acute psychiatric hospital in San Francisco.

Honors and Awards

Distinguished Teaching Award, 1988-99, ex-aqueo, University of San Francisco Faculty Association

Michael McCulloch Memorial Award, 1988, For Outstanding Contributions Toward Furthering the Understanding of the Interacting between People and Companion Animals, Delta Society

Utilization of Research in Nursing Practice Award, "A Program to Develop Skills in Animal-Assistive Therapy-Community Collaboration", Sigma Theta Tau, 1997

Humanitarian Award, 2001, San Francisco SPCA CLAW

Faculty of the Year, Class of 1986, University of San Francisco School of Nursing

Mentor Epitome, 2001, Beta Gamma Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International

Teaching Areas of Expertise

Department of Community Mental Health Nursing, Mental Health and Community Nursing

Clinical Interests of Expertise and Interest

End-of-Life Care/Death and Dying; Grief and Bereavement; Psychiatric/Mental Health

Previous Administrative Appointments

Chair, Dept. of Community/Mental Health Nursing; Curriculum Committee; Peer Review Committee, Administrative Council.


B.S.N., Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Research Areas

Lived Experience of Losing a Companion Animal
Continuing Bonds with Companion Animals
Grief and Bereavement
Balancing Engagement and Detachment in Care-giving
End-of-Life Care/Death and Dying