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Pet Bereavement Support

If you have lost a pet and need somebody to talk to please call our Pet Bereavement Support Service.

Tel: 0800 096 6606

The Pet Bereavement Support Service is run by Blue Cross and, since its launch in 1994, it has helped thousands of pet owners of all ages and from all walks of life.

Volunteers respond to calls and emails on the support line everyday. They are volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. All have experienced the loss of a pet and have completed a training course. They offer a “listening ear” and give time, patience and encouragement to pet owners as they work through their loss.

The Pet Bereavement Support Service offers practical information on pet loss for friends, family members and others who have contact with pet owners.

Sharing your pet loss with people who understand

Sometimes it helps to share feelings with someone who knows from personal experience how distressing the loss of a pet can be, and who will listen with understanding and compassion.

The loss of a pet impacts everyone differently. Call the support line on 0800 096 6606 (UK only including northern Ireland). The support line is open from 8.30am - 8.30pm everyday. All calls are free and confidential from a landline. If calling from a mobile phone, some phone networks may charge. Support is provided by trained volunteers. The service does not offer a counselling service but is able to offer emotional support and information for pet owners who may be experiencing the loss of a pet.

The Pet Bereavement Support Service is a confidential telephone and email support line service that offers emotional support and information for anyone experiencing the loss of a pet.

To make contact call: 0800 096 6606 (Some mobile networks may charge)
The support line is open everyday from 8.30am – 8.30pm.

Pet loss help and support by email

Sometimes, it's easier to write about how you are feeling rather than talking to someone. We can offer you support through our email support line at [email protected]. We will answer your email as soon as possible and within a maximum of 48 hours. If however, you want to contact someone immediately, please use the telephone support line.

Coping with the loss of a pet? We’re here to listen

Grieving for a pet

Grieving for the loss of a pet, whether through death or enforced separation, can be a very sad and difficult experience. Life, once filled with the love and friendship of a pet, may suddenly seem very empty.

Feelings of despair, loneliness and even depression can be overwhelming. There may also be a strong sense of guilt and self-doubt, particularly when a decision has been taken to euthanase or rehome a pet. These feelings are normal and a testimony to the special bond between people and their pets. Unfortunately, not everyone understands this grief, and it can be a very lonely experience.

Supporting pet owners through pet bereavment and pet loss

Moving to a new home with your pet

“I’ve lost my beloved dog after many years of friendship and I’m heartbroken”

With an ongoing health problem, which often meant frequent treatment in hospital, Jim found it increasingly difficult to manage on his own at home.
He made the painful decision to move in with a relative which meant giving up his beloved dog, Barnie. The move and the loss of Barnie left Jimfeeling distraught and lonely. Jim contacted the Pet Bereavement Support Service and spoke to someone on the support line who gave him all the time he needed to talk about his life with Barnie, the companionship they shared, the decisions he had to make, and how he was left feeling. In time, and with support, Jim was able to accept and come to terms with his loss.

Making a decision and saying goodbye to your pet

“I just need to tell someone how utterly guilty and devastated I feel”

Catherine’s cat, Molly, was diagnosed with a tumour. Catherine knew at some stage she would need to make a decision to ensure that Molly did not experience pain or unnecessary suffering. Catherine wasn’t sure when she needed to make that decision and what to expect during euthanasia. Whenever she thought about it she felt physically ill, guilty and anxious.

As well as speaking to her vet, Catherine emailed the Pet Bereavement Support Service and shared her anxieties with a volunteer who helped Catherine prepare for the end of Molly’s life and consider some options for Molly’s body after her death.

Catherine felt stronger knowing what to expect and when the time came to part with Molly she was able to be with her at the end of her life

Parting with a pet

“We never expected to react as badly as we have. Is this overwhelming sadness normal?”

Janie’s two children had a pony and two rabbits. Her husband had been unemployed for some time and this had put a considerable strain on their relationship and finances. They had made the decision to separate and rehome the animals as they could no longer afford to look after them.

The family were heartbroken at having to part with their pets. Janie and the children contacted the support line at the Pet Bereavement Support Service and spent time talking through their anger, sadness and the pain of parting with their pets. As well as contacting the support line the family were given details of other organisations that could help them through their traumatic time.

Create a pet memorial

Pet memorials can be a helpful and comforting way of remembering and commemorating the life of a pet that is no longer with you. 

Create an online memorial