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San Diego Humane Society

Pet Loss Support

Family, friends, and society don't always understand how drastically the loss of a pet can affect us, and can find it difficult to support the grief we often feel. Our Pet Loss Support Group provides an environment where thoughts and emotions can be shared and feelings of grief are understood and validated. Our Pet Loss Support group is facilitated by a licensed, clinical social worker.

If you are:
  • Feeling lost without your pet
  • Wondering what to tell your child about the loss of a pet
  • Finding that family and friends fail to understand or attempt to minimize your loss
  • Wondering if it is too soon to get another pet
  • Still grieving for a pet you had some time ago
  • Considering euthanasia

Our Pet Loss Support Group may help. Losing your companion animal can be an extremely difficult and painful experience, and we offer a caring, compassionate understanding of your loss.

The Pet Loss Support Group is open to everyone ages 10 and up and is appropriate for those who have recently lost a pet, are still mourning an old loss, are anticipating the death of a pet, or are preparing for euthanasia.

Please note: Due to the nature of the cause of death of some pets, content shared during the sessions may be disturbing.

  • Reservations are encouraged but not required.
  • Please bring a picture of your pet to the session.
  • There are no fees for the Pet Loss Support Group. General donations are appreciated.

Check our calendar for dates or call 619.299.7012 x 2311 for more information or to make a reservation.

Additional Resources

In-Person and Phone Support Groups

Looking for another local option? Visit Rancho Coastal Humane Society's website to learn about its Pet Loss Support Group options in Encinitas.

The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement offers on-line chat groups for those who have recently lost a pet and those anticipating the loss of a pet. They also offer a list of phone support groups across the country as a resource. 

Paws into Grace, a local in-home pet euthanasia service provider, offers a list of local pet loss resources

Optum Health offers a live chat support group Monday-Friday from 4-10 pm at 888.724.7240 for those in various types of crisis, including pet loss. 



Books and Resources (for adults)
  • Saying Good-bye to the Pet You Love,
    Lorri Greene, PhD and Jacquelyn Landis, New Harbinger Publications, 2002.
  • Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die,
    Jon Katz, Villard, 2011.
  • Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet,
    Moira Anderson, Peregrine Press, 1994.
  • The Human-Animal Bond and Grief,
    Laurel Lagoni, Carolyn Butler and Suzanne Hetts, W.B. Saunders and Company, 1994.
  • Preparing for the Loss of Your Pet,
    Myrna Milani, DVM, Prima Publishing, 1988.
  • Oh Where Has My Pet Gone?: A Pet Loss Memory Book,
    Ages 3-103, Sally Sibbitt, B. Libby Press, 1991.
  • The Loss of a Pet,
    Wallace Sife, Howell Books, 1998.
  • Golden Angels: Lessons in Love and Loss from Buddy Girl and Daisy May,
    Stephanie Weaver, Braver Endeavor Publishing, 2013.
  • Love Crosses Over,
    Elizabeth Allen, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013.
  • Grief Pets: helping people in times of grief over the loss of a beloved pet.
  • Bill at the Rainbow Bridge,
    Dan Carrison
  • Precious Companion,
    Laynee Gilbert
  • Pet Loss Meditations,
    Lorise Weil
  • Coping with the Loss of a Pet,
    Christine M. Lemieux
  • When a Family Pet Dies,
    JoAnn Tuzeo Jarolmen
  • The Grief Recovery Handbook,
    Russell Friedman et al
  • Good-bye My Friend,
    Mary and Herb Montgomery
  • Not Forgotten,
    Alexandra Day
  • Rainbow and Bridges,
    Allen and Linda Anderson


Books and Resources (for children)
  • RedRover provides a list of child-appropriate pet loss books:
  • When a Pet Dies, Fred Rogers, 1998.
  • Dog Heaven, Cynthia Rylant, 1995.
  • Cat Heaven, Cynthia Rylant, 1997.
  • You're Still with Me,
    Written by Lisa M. Algee. Illustrated by E.F. Tongson
  • Oh Where Has My Pet Gone?: A Pet Loss Memory Book,
    Ages 3-103, Sally Sibbitt, B. Libby Press, 1991.
  • The Tenth Good Thing About Barney,
    Judith Viorst, Athenum, 1971.
  • Charlotte’s Web,
    E.B. White, Harper Junior, 1952.
  • Remembering My Pet: A Kid’s Own Spiritual Workbook for When a Pet Dies,
    Nechama Liss-Levinson, PhD and Rev. Molly Phinney Baskett, SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2007.
  • Grief Pets: helping people in times of grief over the loss of a beloved pet.
  • When Your Pet Dies,
    Victoria Ryan
  • Kitty Heaven's in the Sky,
    Lynn Barbarite
  • Doggy Heaven's in the Sky,
    Lynn Barbarite
  • Just for Kids in Grief,
    Yvonne Williams
  • More than a Cat: A Celebration of the Life of... workbook
  • More than a Dog: A Celebration of the Life of... workbook
  • The Final Goodbye,
    Terri Zumstein


These lists and links are provided as a service to the community and do not necessarily include all pet loss resources. San Diego Humane Society is not affiliated with these organizations and does not take responsibility for the content therein.

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