Pet Loss Support Groups and Resources; Caring for pet owners after euthanasia

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Grieving pet owners benefit when they have access to pet loss support information.  There are a variety of resources on the internet, however many of them are out of date and no longer in service.  The Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy (CAETA) has created this list of US-based pet loss support groups. CAETA will review the list regularly so readers can always have a trusted source of up-to-date information.   

Pet Loss Support Phone Hotlines
Lap of Love Pet Loss Resource Line – 855-352-LOVE (5683)
https://www.lapoflove.com/pet-loss-support/pet-loss-resource-line

Tufts University Pet Loss Support Hotline – 508-839-7966
https://vet.tufts.edu/petloss/

Chicago Veterinary Medical Association – 630-325-1600
https://www.chicagovma.org/pet-loss-support/

Cornell University – 607-218-7457
https://www.vet.cornell.edu/about-us/outreach/pet-loss-support-hotline

Support Groups
Many bereavement counselors offer virtual groups and one-on-one sessions.  Here are two national groups that can serve as well.
Lap of Love – https://www.lapoflove.com/our-services/pet-loss-support-group
VetVine – https://www.vetvine.com/article/657/vetvine-virtual-pet-loss-support-services
The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement – https://www.aplb.org/directory-of-services/?service=11

Weekly Chatroom
Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement – https://www.aplb.org/chat-with-us/

Individual Counseling
Check with your local veterinary college, as they may have a counselor or social worker available for individual counseling.  Local humane societies may also have a list of referrals.  Otherwise the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement has a list of local counselors that can be a springboard for researching a counselor or social worker.  https://www.aplb.org/directory-of-services/?service=10

You can also search the internet for grief or pet loss counselors in your area.  If you find a grief counselor, reach out and ask if they are comfortable with counseling for pet loss. 

Useful Resources
Books for Adults
When Your Pet Dies:  A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing by Alan Wolfelt
Pet Loss: A thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children by Herbert Neiburg and Arlene Fischer
Goodbye My Friend: Grieving the Loss of a Pet by Mary and Herb Montgomery
The Loss of a Pet by Wallace Sife, DVM
Saying Goodbye to the Pet You Love by Lorri Greene
The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss by Russell Friedman
Coping With Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet by Moira Anderson Allen
Coping With the Loss of Your Pet by Christine Lemieux
My Personal Pet Remembrance Journal by Enid Samuel Traisman
Pet Parents: A Journey Through Unconditional Love by Coleen Ellis

Books for Children
When a Pet Dies by Fred Rogers
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst
Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant
Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant
I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm
Healing Your Grieving Heart for Kids by Alan Wolfelt
Saying Goodbye to Lulu by Corinne Demas
Goodbye Mousie by Robbie Harris
The Fall of Freddie the Leaf by Leo Buscaglia
Dear Brave Friend by Leigh Ann Gerk

Booklets and brochures to offer bereaved pet caregivers
Educational materials by Veterinary Wisdom
Booklets and wallet cards by The Center for Loss and Life Transition
Booklet:  Goodbye My Friend: Grieving the Loss of a Pet by Mary and Herb Montgomery
Booklet:  Coping With the Loss of Your Pet by Kathleen Ayl
Brochure:  AVMA brochure on pet loss and grief

Resources for Professionals
Pet Loss and Human Emotion by Cheri Barton Ross
Connecting with Grieving Clients: Supportive Communication for Fourteen Common Situations by Laurel Lagoni and Dana Durrance
Companioning You! A Soulful Guide to Caring for Yourself While You Care for the Dying and the Bereaved by Alan Wolfelt

This is just a small sample of books and resources you may find helpful. For a more extensive list, including genres such as memoirs, short stories, religious themes, and journals, see
https://www.aplb.org/resources/recommended-reading/

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Kathleen Cooney

DVM, CHPV, CCFP Founder, Director of Education for the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy