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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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, […]

Counsellor considers the loss of her own pet

For Lucy One morning when I was feeling particularly sad about Lucy I remembered a client from years ago. This woman sought counseling following the death of both a parent and a sibling. She spoke powerfully of the months she had cared for her mother as she died. She stoically described caring for her brother […]

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 […]

Pet Loss Support – grief counseling – USA

Pet Loss Support – grief counseling For a comprehensive list of counselors in the USA the Asso­ci­a­tion For Pet Loss and Bereave­ment (APLB)  has an excel­lent website that we recommend: www.aplb.org Chicago VMA 630-325-1600 Cornell University 607-253-3932 University of Illinois 217-244-CARE (2273) or 877-394-CARE Michigan State University 517-432-2696 P&G Pet CaremPet Loss Support Hotline 888-332-7738 The Ohio State University […]

Helping Cats Cope with the Loss of Other Pets

Pet loss and grief can be difficult and heartbreaking for people, but it can be an even greater challenge to help the surviving pets deal with pet loss. Cats do, indeed, grieve. They cannot tell us how they feel. And the owners in the family may overlook behavior changes while dealing with their own sense […]

Death and Guilt

March 9, 2010 – Joanne writes that she gave her cat the wrong medication for an illness  – the medicine was improperly prepared, and she sensed something was wrong – and her cat Debbie died. “You talk about guilt, there is nothing in this world that will  ever make me feel better about giving that […]

Lessons on Living and Dying from My Canine Brothers

The pet doctor: Our animals can be teachers, too By Christie Long • The pet doctor • October 7, 2010 I have a colleague who reminds me often, as I’m tearing my hair out over a particularly difficult diagnosis or agonizing about how to treat a critically ill patient, that animals are our teachers. As […]