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

Why do we get so grief-stricken at the loss of a pet?

  Once they just got buried in the back garden. Now there are animal coffins and even helplines for bereaved owners… By Heidi Scrimgeour   Saturday, 26 June 2010 * When Christina McDermott was 11 years old, she had a diabetic hamster called Soda, who died. “My little brother built her a mausoleum out of […]

Changes to the Way We View Pet Loss and Grief

Loss of life is never easy to deal with.  Unfortunately, I have had to deal with more than I would care to in both animal rescue and veterinary medicine. Times have changed, and most people no longer consider their dogs and cats pets.  Rather, they are family members or “babies”.  We care for our “furry […]

Should pets be shown that its partner pet is dead?

This already happened, but I’m still not sure if I made the right decision. I love my cats very much, and when one of them -Smokie – died of cancer, I didn’t want the second one to always wonder a) If the cat had abandoned us, or b) If the cat might come home one […]

Ask Amy: Cat Owner Regrets Euthanizing Pet

By AMY DICKINSON Last update: March 10, 2010 – 3:18 PM Dear Amy: I euthanized my beloved cat less than a week ago. Aside from the grief of losing my pet of 15 years, I feel a tremendous guilt at having made the decision to have her put to sleep. She was 17 or 18 […]

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.

The Power of the Dog

There is sorrow enough in the natural way From men and women to fill our day; And when we are certain of sorrow in store, Why do we always arrange for more? Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware Of giving your heart to a dog to tear. Buy a pup and your money will […]

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 […]

Pet loss Books

Book Review: Kate, The Ghost Dog: Coping With The Death Of A Pet – by Wayne Wilson My review originally posted on Feathered Quill Reviews Aleta is a bright, free-spirited, young girl who lives with her parents and younger brother. She has two great friends she loves spending her time with, and even has aspirations […]

Book – Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates

Do all dogs and cats really go to heaven? Yes, they do!  The death of your beloved pet can be one of the most heartbreaking losses you’ll ever endure. But recovery isn’t only about closure. You also want to know where your best friend has gone. After the intense, unexpected grief he experienced following the […]

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