PET LOSS support services

Individual Counselling

This therapeutic setting is to provide a safe and understanding place for the expression of show an acknowledgment of the type of relationship you had with your pet.

Counselling is to support you to expand your coping skills and to find a way to be able to carry on a fully functional life whilst still leaving space for your many emotions.  This does not meaning moving on from your pet, as...

...the grieving process can be a part of meaning reconstruction…about forming a new relationship.

The loved one is no longer physically present...but the bond can be just as strong and special…only different.


Pets often play a significant role in a person’s life.  They are constant, stable, and can offer  companionship, comfort and solace, security, routine, entertainment, motivation to exercise and be outside, social opportunities, affection, and most of all unconditional love. 


They can be a bridge to the past, staying by their owners side through the many changes and

challenges of life. People often claim that their pets teach them so much, mostly about the beauty of simple things: about playing, relaxing, and sharing love.  Pets

can hold a particularly special role for those who are sick or live alone, and for childless couples, children, and the elderly.  

Some animals can also hold a dual role as both a pet and a working animal for farmers, police, the disabled, entertainers,  or show competitors.  Anyone who works with animals is also in a position to form a deep attachment to the animals they work with.


Being a pet lover can become part of one’s identity, with the opportunity to love and nurture a most willing recipient.  Being responsible for a pet can create a sense of purpose, and provide a symbol of self-esteem and a source of pride and accomplishment.


     The losing of a pet owner role and one’s cherished friend can result in an intense level of sadness, sometimes even more than the loss of human loved ones.  Since many pets are considered to be a family member, their death can alter the entire structure of the family. 

As the care of a pet involves routine, the daily reminders can make it difficult to adapt to the loss.  Due to the many levels of bonding that can occur between an animal and a person and the different ways that a pet can be lost, there are many levels of grief responses.


The death of a beloved animal can also raise important spiritual questions such as “does my animal have a soul” or “will I see my pet in heaven”.  With a lack of support,  this quest for a spiritual perspective and guidance can go unsatisfied.

   “They come into our lives

     with their love and light

      and then they go, and

    we have been profoundly

      blessed and shown how

        to be better beings.”


               Judith Stone

         Animal Advocates BC

pet loss bereavement Groups

The human-animal bond that is so common between people and their pets can be significant. The animal is often considered to be a part of the family… a child… a best friend.  The losing of a pet can cause a deep sense of grief and sorrow. There can be added difficulty as our society and even well-meaning people often do not comprehend the extent of relationship between human and animal; this lack of understanding and support can mean that a bereaving pet owner may endure their grief alone.  Our psycho-educational pet loss group can be a means to both normalize the experience and thus decrease isolation and to also provide support to the distressed individual.

 Facilitators and Counsellors

Mandy Rion
Registered Professional Counsellor (c) 

James Sullivan 
Registered Professional Counsellor (c)

Ariadne Patsiopoulos
M.A. (Counselling Psychology)
Registered Clinical Counsellor

Käri-Ann Thor
M.Ed. (Counselling Psychology)
Registered Clinical Counsellor

Our group format is six two hour sessions with each one including a helpful educational piece, an interactive exercise/activity, as well as time to talk about your companion and your experience.

Please see the link below for our upcoming pet loss grief group.
Pet Loss Group - 6 sessions.pdf

pet loss Memorial services

Having some sort of ceremony to celebrate the life of your pet and the love between you can be very helpful in the healing process.  Consultation can be offered here for heartening you to find a meaningful way to commemorate your beloved companion.  The service can also provide a counsellor to lead the service in collaboration with your wishes and requirements.

“Until one has loved an animal,

a part of one’s soul

remains unawakened.”

Anatole France