The death of a beloved pet represents a very deep and significant loss to the loving human companion. It is normal to feel grief and mourn the loss of your beloved pet. You are not alone. To most pet owners, a pet is considered a member of the family.
There are several stages of grief (denial, anger or guilt, bargaining, depression, and acceptance), but not everyone experiences all of them or in the same order. There is no right or wrong way to grieve; there is only your way. If you are having a difficult time with your pet’s death, you may want to discuss your feelings with someone trained to understand the grieving process, such as a grief counselor, clergy person, physician, social worker, or other mental health professional.
In addition, the following resources are available to help you while you mourn the loss of your pet:
Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, CVMA, Pet Loss Helpline
You will be asked to leave a message and your contact information. A CVMA volunteer will contact you the earliest weekday evening following your message. They will contact you Monday through Friday between 7 - 9 pm. If you leave a message over the weekend, a volunteer will call you Monday evening. If you call on a holiday, a volunteer will call you the next weekday evening.
The Anti-Cruelty Society offers a free virtual group program called “Working Through Pet Loss.” The group meets virtually via the video app Zoom, on the first Tuesday of every month from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. The group is led by grief counselor who is a licensed professional counselor that helps counsel trauma victims. Once you complete your reservation, you will receive an email with the Zoom website link to join the video meeting. Click on the following link to make your reservation:
The Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Grief Center provides several online resources to help you mourn the loss of a pet.
- Pet Loss Grief Support Hotlines
- Pet Loss Forum
- Pet Loss Chat Room
- Tips on How to Manage Your Grief Following the Loss of a Pet
- Helping Children Cope with the Loss of a Pet
- Grieving the Loss of a Pet During the Holidays
- Empty Nesters and the Loss of a Pet
- Signs you are Ready to Adopt a new Pet
- Frequently Asked Questions about Pet Loss and Grieving
Click on the following link to access The Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Grief Center: