Welcome to Pets & People - our support network for grieving pet owners...

Understanding grief & loss

Reactions to grief can be manifested many different ways - some of which might be...

  • feelings - of anxiety, fear, sadness, anger, guilt
  • thoughts - such as confusion, preoccupation and disbelief
  • physical reactions - like sleep disturbances, empty sensation in stomach, breathlessness or tightness in the chest
  • behaviour - such as crying, sighing, hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, social withdrawal

These are only some of the ways that grief is experienced. Unfortunately, the grief associated with the loss of a pet is often the most misunderstood. Family and friends often mean well, but can sometimes dis­miss your pain and dis­tress...

Read more about pet loss & grief

Pets and People was founded by Dr Micheal O’Donoghue and Penny Carroll to provide a supportive process to help people through the grief experienced with the loss of a companion animal.

Counselling can help...

Not all counsellors specialise in grief and even less deal with the grief associated with Pet Loss. But help is at hand.

Our aim at Pets and People is to help connect pet owners with qualified and experienced pet loss counsellors who are ready and willing to support people in this difficult time.

Find a Counsellor

Share the loss of your pet with a therapist who will understand and support you...

Contact our 24 / 7 pet loss support line on 1300 431 450

The 1300 line is a toll free number, but once connected with professional, their counselling rates will vary according to the service provider.
  • Loving animals is an important part of being human

    Los­ing an ani­mal friend can feel as dev­as­tat­ing as los­ing a human loved one...

  • It's okay to grieve...

    Your rela­tion­ship with your pet was spe­cial

  • Our relationships with our pets bring much love and joy to both the human and the animal

  • If your pet was an important part of your life

    ...then it is normal to grieve when they die

Recommended Pet Loss & Grief articles

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Readers answer the question “Do animals have an after life?”

Published: October 31. 2009 12:01AM We asked readers this month about animals in heaven or the afterlife. Here is what you had to say: Oh, how I wish when I die my dog Skippy or my cat Peaches would meet me at the gate and we would go on like we were never apart. Life […]

Dr Michael O’Donoghue establishes Australia’s first Pet Loss Support hotline on 1300 431 450

Grieving animal lovers can now call a national hotline that has been set up to connect people with qualified and experienced counsellor who can help them cope with their loss. At the time of launch there were 10 service counsellors based across Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane – with the service continuing to expand and […]

When a Pet Dies, More People are Sending Pet Loss Sympathy Cards to Grieving Owners

Last updated: November 24, 2009 9:50 a.m. Emma Downs – The Journal Gazette “Pet-sympathy cards have long been available, but are more in-demand these days,” says Terri Todd, of the Anne’s Hallmark store on St. Joe Center Road. Darby was a typical terrier. High-spirited, mischievous, maybe a little too big for his tiny britches. “Ordinarily,” […]

Public Mourning of Deceased Pets Gains Acceptance

Posted: Saturday, March 29, 2014 7:00 am Associated Press | FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Because Julie Mack’s golden retriever was her best friend, roommate, playmate and travel partner, the euthanized passing of the nearly 12-year-old Clancy was excruciatingly painful. As Clancy’s head rested in her lap, Mack said a tearful goodbye in the privacy of […]

Questions about Pet Loss and Grief

Am I going mad? If you have regarded your pet as a friend, family member, beloved companion, then it is not unusual to be very distressed at the death or impending death of a pet.   Who can I talk to when he/she dies? Talk to someone who understands the bond you had and who […]

Do Dog’s Grieve?

Dear SPCA, My elderly lab recently died. We’ve all had a difficult time coping with the loss but I am concerned about my other dog, Rhea. She doesn’t want to play, lays around and even went to her friend’s crate, went inside and howled and whined. I have since donated the crate to a local […]

How Do You Know When it is Time for Euthanasia?

How to know when it is time to say goodbye? This decision is the hardest part of owning a pet, our pets and companions have put their trust in us, and we must decide when enough is enough. I believe there are several important questions to ask yourself: Is the pet still eating and drinking? […]

Don’t Shame Me For Grieving My Dog’s Death

A loss of a pet is still a loss. 05/04/2017 9:22 PM AEST | Lindsay Holmes – Deputy Healthy Living Editor, HuffPost LINDSAY HOLMES The author’s dog, Sapp, who loved going for rides and running on golf courses. “U want to cancel bc ur dog back home died? Haha.” A few months after I moved to New […]

3 Steps to Making use of Creativity to Ease Grief

We do not often connect these issues with each other, easing grief with photography and creativity. Engaging our inventive facet by gathering photographs, and then creating anything new and different can have a strong impression to aid ease the grief in our heart following an animal passing away. It is just that easy, and that […]

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