Pets are more than just animals. They are beloved family members who provide us with unconditional love, friendship and acceptance. Saying goodbye to a cherished pet often creates a deep sense of grief and loss that is unique. We are here to support pet parents during their companion's final days and beyond, providing help and hope throughout the grief process.
Losing a pet can be one of the most difficult emotional experiences to go through. Pets provide us with unconditional love, acceptance and friendship unlike anything humans can hope to offer. They are our constants in an unpredictable and sometimes overwhelming world. And so often, they make us want to play, and be silly and appreciate simple joys in life. It's no wonder that when they die, we are left with a huge void in our life, and in our heart. Knowing when to say goodbye is the first part of the battle. Sometimes we have no say in the matter, and we lose our friends suddenly. But often, we are faced with a very difficult choice to help them end their pain and suffering, and let them go in a peaceful and dignified way. It is a final act of love.
No matter how we lose our companions though, the grief can feel overwhelming and is often hard for others to relate to or discuss, especially if they have never experienced that same strong bond with an animal. But, the grief of losing a pet is very real, and it takes time to begin to heal. If you are experiencing the pain of losing a companion, know that there are resources to help.
How We Can Help
- Pet Loss Information and Support
- Hospice / Palliative Care Information and Support
- Quality of Life Assessments
- Special Needs Care Information
- End of Life Questions
- Anticipatory Bereavement
- Questions about Euthanasia
- Helping Other Pets with Grief
- Helping Children Through Grief
Pet Loss and Hospice Support services are coordinated by Kerry Malak, APLB Certified Pet Loss Counselor and Certified Pet-Loss Grief Recovery Specialist through the American Institute of Health Care Professionals. Kerry has been a pet loss counselor since 2010, is a staff member of the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, and a founding member of the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care. She has extensive experience working with individuals and families from across the country who have recently lost a beloved animal family member, or who are coping with anticipatory grief related to serious illnesses such as cancer, as well as the normal aging process.