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Metropolitan Animal Specialty Hospital

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Grief Support

Old couple walking their dogs

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.

Local Pet Loss Support Groups

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 on-staff veterinary social workers, licensed mental health clinicians, who is available to help you navigate these feelings 7 days a week. Veterinary social work services are at no cost to MASH clients.

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 3 times monthly over Zoom. If you are interested in participating please contact Rebecca Baker, LCSW at [email protected].



Orange Cat in front of Black BG


MASH partners with Only Cremations for aftercare. Only Cremation offers both cremation and aquamation and private (ashes returned with a clay paw print) or communal (no ashes returned; ashes distributed at sea). If you are having difficulty navigating this decision or would like to discuss alternative options, please reach out to the veterinary social work team at (323) 948-1400.

Dog Sleeping Next to Owner

Online Support

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

A Child Grieving the Loss of a Pet

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


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