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

>> Browse all articles

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 […]

Weekend Sunrise (Channel 7) sheds lights on pet loss and grief with Dr Michael O’Donogohue

Those grieving often suffer in silence because the lack of understanding in the outside world means sympathy is hard to come by.  Pet owners are often told, “it’s just an animal” or “you can always get another one” – comments which can understandably be hard to hear.

Board game helping Children with Pet loss

Aultman game wins over kids experiencing loss By Cheryl Powell Beacon Journal medical writer POSTED: 12:00 p.m. EDT, May 05, 2010 CANTON: Dealing with the death of a loved one is hardly child’s play. But a Northeast Ohio hospital is marketing a new board game designed to help children share their emotions in a nonthreatening […]

Ideas for Managing Your Grief

Cry when and how you need to – You have lost a special companion. Strong emotions can be a part of grief. Walk or exercise if you are able and try to eat and sleep regularly. Keep to your normal routine as much as possible as this can provide you some stability and a framework […]

Understanding Pet Loss and Grief

All of us need to love and to be loved. Loving animals is an important part of being human. As we develop bonds of love and affection we become attached to that one. When we lose one we love, we grieve. So grief is a normal reaction to the loss of someone or something to […]

Sharing Grief on Social Media

When Lucky died: A grief observed, on social media By Bob Sullivan   GOLDEN, Colo. — There’s a reason the expression goes “You look like your dog just died.” Losing a dog is a sadness so profound that it’s useless to explain to anyone who hasn’t been through it. In fact, finding others who understand […]

Pet Funerals

When Chiquita Isom’s German shepherd, Silla, died of a fast-growing heart tumor last year with almost no warning, Isom was inconsolable. She knew she needed to do something to honor the loving dog she always called “my girl.” Days later, the Rev. Pat Boone, in black robe and long shawl patterned with dogs and cats, […]

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 […]

Things I Wish I Had Known When My Dog Died

Originally published: Pet City – By JEN A. MILLER MARCH 23, 2017  Credit – Heidi Younger On Jan. 4, 11 years and 26 days after I walked out of an animal shelter in New Jersey with a little white and brown dog attached to the end of a brand-new leash, she died. On this day, an undiagnosed tumor […]

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