Coping with the loss and grief of a beloved pet can often feel overwhelming. Whether it's a family dog or cat companion, it's important to give yourself enough time to heal and ask for help if you need it.
If you need someone to speak to, there are plenty of free and confidential pet bereavement support services available to help you via phone, email or webchat. Take a look at the helplines available below:
1. The Blue Cross
If you are grieving the loss of a pet, head over to the Blue Cross' website where you will find a free and confidential Pet Bereavement Support Service. You can speak to the team by phone, email or webchat.
"Lives are transformed by the love and companionship pets bring. So, saying goodbye to one – whether due to death or separation – is always sad, difficult and often traumatic. It affects people in many ways," say the team. "Our mission is to reach as many people as possible with compassion and understanding, so that no one goes through the pain of losing a pet alone."
For more information, head to The Blue Cross website. You can also call 0800 096 6606. The helpline is available between 8.30am and 8.30pm every day.
2. Animal Samaritans
Animal Samaritans, a UK-based charity, offers help and advice for anyone dealing with the grief of losing a beloved pet. Free for anyone to call, the bereavement service allows owners to talk about their pets and their grief in a non-judgemental arena.
For more information, visit animalsamaritans.org.uk or call 0203 745 9859.
3. Cats Protection – Paws to Listen Grief Support
If you have lost a beloved cat and are experiencing pet-related grief, you can call Cats Protection's free and confidential phone line on 08000249494 to talk to one of their trained volunteer listeners. As well as this, they also offer expert guides, the opportunity to share your bereavement story, and the chance to celebrate your cat by adding a photo of them to their memory wall.
For more information, visit cats.org.uk.
4. The Ralph Site
The Ralph Site – a not-for-profit website that provides support to pet carers — offers help to those who are struggling with the loss of a pet. The company was set up by vet Shailen Jasani in July 2011 after the loss of his beloved cat, Ralph, following a motor vehicle accident in November 2010. The site is dedicated to all the animals that have touched and continue to touch the hearts of so many people.
Head over to their website and you will find advice on dealing with grief, ideas for ways to memorialise your furry friend, pet bereavement counsellors/support training, and quotes and poems to lift you up when you are sad.
For more information, visit theralphsite.com.
5. Living with Pet Bereavement
The team at Living With Pet Bereavement offer free support to those who are dealing with the loss of a pet. You can either choose to have a phone call or a virtual Zoom call (additional fees) with an expert. Simply book a support session online and you will be appointed a Pet Bereavement Counsellor who will support you through the grieving process from your initial call to completion.
"Experience has taught us that those pet owners who reach out for support PRE the loss of their pet tend cope far better after the death and there is significantly less, if any, need for them to be supported afterwards," say the team. "We can cover all aspects of the journey you are about to take from practical advice on what to expect on the day to how to prepare emotionally for the day."
For more information, visit livingwithpetbereavement.com.
6. The Ease Animal Charity
EASE understands the importance and death of a human/pet relationship, providing plenty of helpful free resources to help those suffering. Some of the services they offer include podcasts to offer comfort and support, additional support sheets on topics such as preparing for pet loss, and a helpful guide on coping with pet bereavement in children.
For more information, visit ease-animals.org.uk.
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