“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”
— Helen Keller

There is nothing in the world quite like the experience of having a pet share our lives. Pets are there for us when we return home with wagging tails, cold noses, and total acceptance.

But one day, our beloved pet will no longer be a constant in our lives. And it can be difficult to cope with the pain and grief that accompanies such a loss.

After you’ve said the final goodbye, you may experience anger, denial, guilt, or depression. These feelings can be quite intense. Daily life can seem impossible, and the simplest of tasks becomes overwhelming. Remember, grieving is a personal process, and everyone experiences it differently. It’s important to take the time to work through your own personal sorrow.

While friends and family can be pillars of support, they also might not realize how important your pet was and still is. Sometimes they may even accidentally say things that hurt your feelings. If you have difficulty talking with your friends or family, a trusted clergyman or a pet loss support group or hotline may be able to provide a much-needed shoulder. Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota offers a Pet Loss Support Group on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 7-8:30pm. In November and December, the group is held on the third Tuesday due to the holidays.

The group is co-facilitated by Colleen, our licensed social worker, and Heidi, our Chief Marketing Officer. The two of them, along with grieving pet owners who attend the group, can provide some insight into what the loss of a pet means, along with just being there to listen and understand. We don’t require reservations for our group, but they are appreciated so that we know whom to expect. Our group is currently meeting via Zoom. Please contact Heidi at (651) 501-3759, ext. 3005, or habrenegan@aercmn.com if you wish to attend!