The Support Network for Grieving Pet Owners

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

Our 24 / 7 Pet Loss Support Line

Australia: 1300 431 450  NZ: 0800 114 421 

PLEASE NOTE: This is a toll free number, but once connected with professional, the 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

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 manifested and everyone's experience will be unique to them and their loss.

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

You are not alone...

Pets and People was founded by Dr Michael 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. We have compiled a list of resources, both paid and complimentary, to help you work through your grief.

Find a Counsellor

Recommended Pet Loss & Grief articles

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How You and Your Child can Cope With Loss of a Pet

Credits: Virginia State Parks on flickr By MARIA SIKOUTRIS DI IORIO  April 25, 2017 at 12:58 PM Animals provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support and unconditional love.  If you understand this connection between human and animal, then you understand that coping with loss and grief of a pet is no different than when a person you […]

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 […]

The Last Battle

If it should be that I grow frail and weak And pain should keep me from my sleep, Then will you do what must be done, For this — the last battle — can’t be won. You will be sad I understand, But don’t let grief then stay your hand, For on this day, more […]

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 […]

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.