Many veterinary practice members have been trained in pet loss, and may have further qualifications in counselling. Compassion Understood also provides training programmes for veterinary staff which can be found on the Why Compassion page on our veterinary side of the website
The Blue Cross
It can sometimes help to share your feelings with someone who knows from personal experience how distressing the loss of a pet can be, and who will listen with compassion and without judgement. The Blue Cross charity runs a Pet Bereavement Support Service which can be contacted on 0800 096 6606 (UK only including Northern Ireland). The support line is open from 8.30am - 8.30pm every day. All calls are free and confidential from a UK landline. If calling from a mobile phone, some phone networks may charge. Alternatively you can also email the Pet Bereavement Support Service on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further support is available on the Blue Cross PBSS site.
Cats Protection’s Paws to listen grief support service
If you’re experiencing pet-related grief you can call our free and confidential phone line to talk to one of our volunteer listeners. The team of trained volunteers offer emotional and practical support to owners experiencing the loss of a cat. While they are unable to offer counselling, the team provides a supportive ear to callers struggling to cope with pet-related grief as well as providing information about topics such as euthanasia, burial and cremation.
The line is open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, on Freephone 0800 024 94 94.
Further information about Cats Protection’s grief and loss support work can be found on the national website: www.cats.org.uk/grief
The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, based in the US, along with The Ralph Site which is based in the UK, both run Pet Loss Forums where you can connect with other pet owners who are experiencing similar emotions to you.
There are many special Pet Loss trained counsellors. You can find some of these on the Ralph site and also within the Counselling Directory. Note that we haven’t ‘vetted’ any of these, and we are not directly endorsing their services. It’s best to carry out further research and if possible speak to them and ask for references before you enter into any counselling agreement.
If you feel that you are not coping with your day-to-day life and feel that you need additional help then we urge you to seek help from your doctor or from the Samaritans who are available around the clock, 365 days a year.