When a pet is lost the grief and emotional trauma are intense and our professional responsibility includes compassionate and knowledgeable pet loss support for your family. Initially, pet owners tend to be shocked by the level of their emotions after the death of their pet, especially if the loss is sudden and unexpected. When euthanasia is the chosen option for a pet after a lengthy illness or decline in a pet’s health, the grief may be lessened by a certain relief that a pet has been spared further suffering. Pet owners can struggle with a wide range of emotions that may include; sadness, guilt, regret, uncertainty and concerns for public displays of their loss.
Our society and culture do not have a clearly defined response to the loss of a pet. The idea of a memorial, a funeral for a pet or taking bereavement time from work can be met with a lack of understanding. At McKenzie Veterinary Services we try our best to help you with not only making the decision but to help you cope with the mixed emotions you are feeling. Time and reflections on what a blessed life the pets in our society have because of their owners love and devotion during their short lives are often all that many people need to allow the grief to pass. For others, the pain and grief they feel may seem overwhelming and it is then that professional grief counselling may be necessary to deal with the loss.
We have put together a list of resources specifically to deal with the loss of a pet. Some of these resources have fees associated with them. Please check with each individual service if this is applicable.
Disclaimer: Please note that this is a compilation of available resources only. McKenzie Veterinary Services is not responsible for the quality of service provided by each resource.
1) Corinne Allyson, Ph.D. – 250-686-9601
2) Sarah Flynn, Registered Clinical Counsellor – 888-316-0819
3) Derek Martin, Ph.D., Canadian Certified Counsellor – 250-882-0322
4) Kirsten Mueller, Registered Social Worker – 250-508-1394
5) Dana Simard, Registered Clinical Counsellor – 250-634-8140
Also, refer to these websites for updated counsellor availability:
While there are currently no active pet loss support groups, there may be some available through the above counsellors.
Online Pet Support
www.pet-loss.net – The Pet Loss Support Page
www.aplb.org – The Association of Pet Loss and Bereavement
www.lafeherwingsofcompassion.com (bird loss support)
Pet Loss Hotlines
1) ASPCA Grief Counselling Line – 24 hours
212-876-7700 x 4355
Pager: 800-946-4646 PIN 1407211
2) Ontario Veterinary College
519-824-4120 (x 53694)
3) Winnipeg Humane Society Pet Loss and Grief Support Line
Leave name, phone number and best tie to reach you. Messages are checked throughout the day and returned as soon as possible.
4) Iams Pet Loss Support Center
5) Colorado State University
6) Tufts University Pet Loss Support Hotline
7) Cornell University Pet Loss Support Hotline
Tues/Thurs 6-9 pm EST
Messages will be returned
8) Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine
9) University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
10) Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Also offers email support at email@example.com
Phones are staffed during semester Mon-Thurs 7-9 pm and Sat 1pm-3 pm PST. While school is not in session and during holidays they check phone and email messages Monday through Thursday and Saturday once daily.
Until We Meet Again offers our clients the best quality aftercare and cremation services. They also offer memorial services, viewing and visitation, and house call visits to pick up your pet’s remains in your time of need. There is also an online memorial page on their website.
Books For Adults
- Goodbye My Friend: Grieving the Loss of a Pet, by Mary and Herb Montgomery
- When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing, by Alan Wolfelt, PhD
- The Loss of a Pet: A Guide to Coping with the Grieving Process When a Pet Dies, by Wallace Sife
- Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die, by Jon Katz
- Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet, by Moira Anderson
- The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss, by Russell Friedman and Cole James
- Good-bye, Dear Friend: Coming to Terms with the Death of a Pet, by Virginia Ironside
- Loving and Losing a Pet: A Psychologist and a Veterinarian Share Their Wisdom, by Michael Stern and Susan Cropper
- The Pet Loss Companion: Healing Advice from Family Therapists Who Lead Pet Loss Groups, by Ken Dolan-Del Veccio and Nancy Saxton-Lopez
- Goodbye Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone who has Ever Lost a Pet, by Gary Kowalski
- Men and Grief, by Carol Staudacker
- When a Man faces Grief by T. Golden and J. Miller
- Sudden Death – No Time for Goodbyes. Coping with Sorrow, Anger and Injustice After a Tragic Death, by Janice Harris Lord
- I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Coping, and Healing After the Sudden Loss of a Loved One, by Brook Noel and Pamela Blair
Books for Children
- The Tenth Good thing About Barney, by Judith Viorst
- Dog Heaven, by Cynthia Rylant
- The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye, by Jane Yolen
- I’ll Always Love You, by Hans Wilhelm
- Annie and the Old One, by Miska Miles
- Goodbye Mog, by Judith Kerr
- Saying Goodbye to Lulu, by Corinne Demas
- Jasper’s Day, by Marjorie Blain Barker
- The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, by Leo Buscaglia
- Remembering Pets, by Gina Dalpra-Berman
- Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children, by Brian Mellonie and Robet Ingpen
- Parting Gifts, by Susan Varley