Grief Support

Resources for Grieving the Loss of Your Pet

older dog being pet

Grieving the Loss of Your Pet

At MASH, we are all animal lovers and animal owners. We understand how difficult it is to lose or anticipate the loss of an animal you love deeply. Pets provide us with unconditional love and companionship and are often viewed as members of our family. When we lose our beloved pets, it can be especially difficult as they are so integrated into our daily routine (morning walks, medications, meal times, etc). At times, the loss of an animal can not be adequately validated by society, making the experience especially isolating.

Feeling supported after the loss of a loved one is imperative to moving through the grief process. At MASH, we greatly value the human-animal bond and have an on-staff veterinary social worker, a licensed mental health clinician, who is available to help you navigate these feelings. For some, speaking to others in the form of a support group provides a sense of validation. For this reason, MASH has created a pet loss support group, which occurs the last Wednesday and second Sunday of every month, open to all who wish to join. If you are interested in participating please contact Rebecca Baker, LCSW at



dog laying on bed while woman on computer

Online Support

Here are some additional online resources to help you through the grieving process of losing a pet.

Culver City:

Dr. Kathleen Ayl, Pet Loss and Grief Associates. Compassionate Pet Loss Support Groups are held every other Saturday from 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. The fee is $25 (a sliding scale is available). For the location and to RSVP please call or text: 818-458-8106 or 818-458-8102 or write


Sandra Grossman, Ph.D., PetLoss Partners. Groups are held every other Tuesday from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. The fee is $20 and a sliding scale is available. Call to RSVP. We are here to support you. 818-421-1516,

cat looking back at camera


In the state of California, it is illegal to bury an animal on private property. If you are interested in burying your animal, the links below are for some local pet cemeteries.

MASH partners with Peaceful Pet Aquamation. Aquamation is a gentle, more eco-friendly way for individuals to handle their pet’s remains. An alkalized water solution is used to break down the remains, mirroring what occurs in nature. The process takes approximately 20 hours, and what results from this is ash-like remains. The remains can be separated during aquamation with much more precision than is possible with cremation.

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Here are several recommended reading materials that may be beneficial when processing the loss of a beloved pet.

  • The Pet Loss Companion by Ken Dolan-Del Vecchino and Nancy Saxton-Lopez

  • Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet by Moira Anderson Allen

  • Rainbows and Bridges: An Animal Companion Memorial Kit by Allen and Linda Anderson

  • When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering, and Healing by Alan D. Wolfelt PhD

  • Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet by Gary Kowalski

  • And I Love You Still… A Thoughtful Guide and Remembrance Journal for Healing the Loss of a Pet by Juilianna Corbin, Ph.D.

  • The Loss of a Pet: A Guide to Coping with the Grieving Process When a Pet Dies by Wallace Sife Ph.D.

  • Signs From Pets In The Afterlife: Identifying Messages From Pets in Heaven by Lyn Ragan

  • The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss by Russell Friedman

young boy reading

Books for Children Grieving the Loss of a Pet

  • When a Pet Dies by Fred Rogers

  • The Rainbow Bridge: A Visit to Pet Paradise by Adrian Paeside

  • The Invisible Leash: A Story Celebrating Love After the Loss of A Pet by Patrice Karst

  • Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant

  • Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant

  • Saying Goodbye to Lulu by Corinne Demas Charlotte’s Web by E.B White

  • I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm

  • My Pet Memory Book by S. Wallace

  • Healing a Child’s Pet Loss Grief: A Guide for Parents by Wendy Van de Poll

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Providing The Best For Your Pet

We at MASH sincerely hope that these resources help you and your family process the loss of a beloved pet — it truly can feel like losing a valued member of the family. If you would like access to any additional resources, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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