Coping with the Loss of a Pet

It is difficult to imagine our lives without our pets, but sooner or later, all pet parents will face the passing of our beloved animal friends.

The powerful emotions that may be triggered by a pet’s death can cause some individuals to feel confused, frightened, angry, guilty and sad. Please remember, these emotions are all normal. It is natural to grieve, and it is important to have compassion and support in one’s time of grief.

The ASPCA can help if the animal you love has died or if he or she is ill, injured or elderly. At, we have compiled a wealth of information to aid you during this trying time.

Our End-of-Life Care FAQ addresses questions about making your pet’s final days comfortable, peaceful and dignified. We also have a general Pet Loss FAQ and an article on helping children understand the loss of a pet.

In addition, ASPCA Counseling Services offers a Pet Loss Support program that provides personalized help with euthanasia issues, grief counseling, helping other pets cope and more.

For assistance, please email Dr. Stephanie LaFarge, Senior Director of ASPCA Counseling Services, through her online Pet Loss column. You may also call the ASPCA’s 24-hour, toll-free Pet Loss Hotline at (877) GRIEF-10.

If you or someone you know are coping with the loss of a pet, there are several resources available to support you during this difficult time. The following list was compiled as a way for the Sand Creek Animal Hospital team to support our clients who are grieving over the loss of a pet.


Pet Bereavement Support Group

The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement P.O. Box 106 Brooklyn, New York 11230


Support Hotlines

College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University 


Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University 


Audio Tape for Pet Loss and Grief

Legacies of Love – A Gentle Guide to Healing from the Loss of Your Animal Loved One Teresa L. Wagner

Matters of the Heart 1-800-356-9315

Books About Pet Loss for Adults

Adams, C. When Your Pet Dies. The Berkley Publishing Group, 1996. Kurz, G. Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates. Morris Publishing, 1997. Ross, C.B. and Baron-Sorenson, J. Pet Loss and Human Emotion. Taylor & Francis Group, 1998. Sife, W. The Loss of a Pet. Howell Book House, Wiley Publishing, 2005.

Books About Pet Loss for Children

Sibbitt, S. Oh, Where Has My Pet Gone?. B. Libby Press, 1991. Wilhelm, H. I’ll Always Love You. Crown Publishing Group, 1985. Mansfield, M., DVM. When You Have to Say Goodbye:Loving and Letting Go of Your Pet. Beanpole Books, 2011.


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