You are here:

Our Mission and Standards of Service

The mission of Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service (PBSS) is to provide free and confidential emotional support and information to anyone who is affected by the loss, or anticipated loss, of a pet or assistance animal through illness, euthanasia, natural death or other circumstances like theft or attack. We commit to providing this support service every day of the year from 8.30am to 8.30pm. 

Our helpline is accredited by the Helplines Partnership which is an independent regulatory body www.helplines.org

The Helplines Partnership recently produced an accreditation report for our Pet Bereavement Support Service (PBSS), please feel free to read the document (PDF).

We aim to promote awareness of the significant impact of pet bereavement on peoples’ lives and work with other organisations to provide information and support for people during this difficult time.

What can I expect when I call the support line?

When you contact PBSS, you will hear a short menu system and then a trained support line volunteer will answer the phone promptly, and within a maximum of five rings during the times the service is open. We aim to answer at least 80 per cent of calls during opening hours of 8.30am to 8.30pm, 365 days a year.

If the phone lines are busy when you call, or if we are closed, you will hear a message about the times we are open and encouraging you to call us back. Please bear with us if you do have to wait a short time. For reasons of caller confidentiality we do not offer the option to leave a message.

You can be reassured that all support line volunteers have personal experience of pet bereavement and have also completed a 14-week training course.

The support line volunteers are not counsellors, but are trained in providing emotional support. They are there to listen and to help you gently explore how you are feeling. They are not there to tell you what to do or how to react, as everyone experiences grief in a unique way. Having direct experience of pet loss, our volunteers can empathise with what you are going through. If you do need additional help then they can point you in the right direction.

You can talk to PBSS for as long as you feel it’s helpful and, although the service is confidential, you don’t need to tell us your name or any other personal details if you don’t want to.

We are a pet charity and we offer our support line services *free of charge to you as a result of generous donations from our supporters who make this possible.

*Please be aware that if you are calling us from your mobile phone you may be charged, depending on your service provider.

Some calls may be recorded to monitor quality standards within our service. All recordings are treated with the same confidentiality as live calls and are deleted within 30 days.

What can I expect if I contact the email support line?

When you email [email protected] a trained volunteer will answer within 48 hours. Their email address will have their first name followed by pbss.org.uk. 

If you are emailing us from your workplace please make sure that our contact address appears in your address book so that it avoids our response to you being treated as spam. 

You will be able to "talk" about your feelings just as you would if you were calling us and everything you share with the support line volunteer is confidential within the service. 

What can I expect if I write a letter?

If you write to PBSS by letter we aim to respond within seven working days.

Let us know what you think about the service

It helps us to know that we are reaching pet owners and others who may need to use our service. We are also keen to know how the service has helped you and we are equally keen to know when we have not done quite so well. 

Please do use our feedback form to tell us what you think.

Alternatively, contact us on 01993 867216 or write to: PBSS, Blue Cross, Shilton Road, Burford, Oxon OX18 4PF. (To request a written copy of these standards please contact the above address).

— Page last updated 19/12/2018