Close family, good friends, and life companions come in many different sizes, shapes, and forms. They can be people or animals, different in form, but they have something in common — they love and support you. So, whether connected to us by blood as family or by fate like friends and pets, we share a connection, a bond, with them for life.

However, there will come a time when we will have to say our permanent goodbyes to the ones we love, and while there is a lot of grief support available for the loss of the people we love, there is also support for people dealing with the loss of a beloved pet. Here are seven compassionate and understanding pet loss support hotlines you can call if you are struggling with the decision to euthanize to end their pain or need help coping with the loss of a pet.

Advertisement

You feel a significant loss when an animal family member dies, and it hurts your heart. But you must know you are not alone.

1. ASPCA Pet Loss Hotline

About: Pet parents can get help from the ASPCA Pet Loss Support program with the following issues: 1) Assistance with the decision to euthanize. 2) Comfort and support at the time of euthanasia. 3) Help with grieving the loss. 4) Advice on helping children, the elderly or disabled with pet loss. 5) Individuals who are facing a death of a companion animal. 6) Helping surviving animals in the household to cope. 7) Assistance in establishing a healthy relationship with a new pet.

Pets they can give support for: All pets

Phone: 877-474-3310

Advertisement
Advertisement

Hotline hours: 24 hours a day

2. Iams Company’s Pet Loss Support Center & Hotline 

About: The loss of a pet can be emotionally traumatic. Iams Company’s Pet Loss Support Center & Hotlines are staffed by trained, volunteer veterinary students, veterinarians and veterinary technicians to help you cope with grief.

Pets they can give support for: All pets

Phone: 1-888-332-7738

Advertisement

Hotline hours: Toll-free Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.

3. Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine Pet Loss Support

About: Staffed by veterinary students who are trained in conjunction with a professional grief counselor, the Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine Pet Loss Support is an outlet for pet parents to express their feelings and concerns when they are faced with or coping with the loss of a cherished animal companion.

Advertisement

Pets they can give support for: All cherished pets

Phone: 517-432-2696

Hotline hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST, Summer hours: Tuesday & Thursday, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST. You can leave a message after-hours and your call will be returned during regular hotline hours.

4. Tufts University Pet Loss Support Hotline

About: Speak one-on-one with trained student volunteers. The goal of the Tufts University Pet Loss Support Hotline is to support people as they work through the pain and grief that is often associated with pet loss.

Advertisement

Pets they can give support for: All pets

Phone: 508-839-7966

Hotline hours: Hotline hours during academic year: Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST. Times vary during the summer. Messages left during off-hours will be returned, at no cost to the caller, during the next regular hotline shift.

5. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Pet Loss Support Hotline

About: The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Pet Loss Support Hotline is staffed by volunteer veterinary students who have undergone extensive training with professional grief counselors. Many if not all of the veterinary student volunteers have experienced the loss of a beloved companion animal and are aware of the profound sadness and confusing emotions that can result. They understand that every loss is unique and they are trained to acknowledge the normal grieving process that callers are experiencing.

Pets they can give support for:  All beloved pets

Phone: 607-253-3932

Hotline hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST

6. University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine C.A.R.E Pet Loss Support Helpline

About: A helpline for people who are either grieving the loss of a companion animal or are anticipating a loss are encouraged to call. If you need a compassionate, understanding person to talk to, we are here to listen and to support you. University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine C.A.R.E Pet Loss Support Helpline is staffed by veterinary students who understand the importance of the bond you share with your animal friend.

Pets they can give support for: All pets

Phone: 877-394-2273

Hotline hours: Tuesday, Thursdays, Sundays, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. CST

7. The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association Pet Loss Helpline and Support Group

About: The helpline and support group has been made available by the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association to help those mourning the death of a beloved animal friend, whether furred, feathered, finned or otherwise attired, whether a creature great or small. Offers a pet loss support group called Wings that meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at the CVMA Office.

Pets they can give support for: All creatures great and small

Phone: 630-325-1600

Hotline hours: N/A

Green Monsters: Do you know of a pet loss support hotline or run one? Share it with us by submitting it to our Animal Rescue Hotline directory!

Image source: Mr.TinDC/Flickr