Saying goodbye to a beloved family friend is never easy. VHA provides member clinics with the tools and resources to help clients with pet loss and navigating through difficult times.
Local Pet Loss Support Groups
Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Services
This pet loss support group is an open format where participants can bring their current needs to the table. The group will discuss grief and loss, and provide supportive ideas to one another on ways to express emotions related to the grieving process
AEVS Business Office
7721 Flying Cloud Drive
Eden Prairie, MN
Meets the 1st Tuesday of each month
Seasons Hospice Pet Loss Support Group
1696 Greenview Drive
Meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month
Animal Allies Humane Society Pet Loss & Grief Support Meeting
4006 Airport Road
Meets the 3rd Thursday of each month
This group is facilitated by AERC Chief Marketing Officer Heidi, who, along with other group members, provide insight into what the loss of a pet means, along with being there to listen and provide comfort. Reservations are not required but appreciated. Contact Heidi at 651-501-3759 ext. 114 if you plan to attend.
1163 Helmo Ave. North
Oakdale, MN 55128
7 - 9pm every 4th Tuesday of each month
This is an ongoing, informal pet loss support group for adults 16 years or older lead by compassionate facilitators. These drop-in groups are free and reservations are not required to attend.
845 Meadow Lane N
Golden Valley, MN 55422
7:00 PM every Monday in Conference Room D
The University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center (VMC) offers a biweekly bereavement group to support those grieving the loss of a beloved animal. These sessions are free of charge, and it's recommended to call and confirm the schedule before attending. To register, attendees must call in advance for a pre-screening and to reserve a seat. Please call Veterinary Social Services at 612-624-9372 for details.
Pomeroy Student-Alumni Learning Center
University of Minnesota
1964 Fitch Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
6:30 - 8pm every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
National Pet Loss Hotline
The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement
Tufts Pet Loss Hotline
University of Minnesota Veterinary Social Services
Veterinary Wisdom for Pet Parents
Pet End of Life Support (PEOLS) Materials
Available on VHA Online Shop
PEOLS materials include:
- Assessing Quality of Life: This document is designed to help your clients determine if euthanasia is the best choice for their pet. It asks many dietary, activity, and behavioral questions that may aid your client in the difficult decision to euthanize.
- Preparing for Your Pet's Euthanasia: This document is designed to prepare your client for the day of euthanasia. It addresses scenarios such as who should be present for the procedure, what to tell children, and what to do with the pet after the procedure.
- Euthanasia: This document explains the procedure and addresses many questions such as: Is it painful? Or will my pet's eye close?
- Caring Pet Cremation: This brochure is designed to inform your clients about the reputable, caring, dignified cremation company you have chosen for their beloved pet. It explains to your client the VHA's multi-point check system process to assure they are receiving their pet's ashes back along with a personalized cremation certificate.
- Bereavement Support: This document helps your client deal with their own feelings, children's feelings and other pet still in the home, after the euthanasia. It provides resources for helpful books, website, and support groups.
- Memorialize Your Pet: This document suggests memorializing your client's beloved pet through a specialty urn. It provides images of the most popular urns.
Additional Support Materials
A Final Act of Caring - This booklet provides comfort and encourages a pet owner to get the medical facts from the veterinarian in order to review all the options. It includes information about euthanasia and a page for you to sign or personalize.
A Special Place for Charlee - Grades. 3-6, younger for reading aloud. Floppy-eared Charlee (feminine for Charlie) was already part of the family when narrator Mark was born. Boy and pup grew up together and were best friends and playmates. Years later, when Charlee needed to be euthanized because of heart failure, the entire family mourned the dog's death. Charlee's vet encouraged Mark to share his feelings of sadness and grief with those he loved. In fact, Mark's family set aside a special time to sit together in the backyard and remember Charlee. They made a scrapbook to collect their memories and planted a flowering bush near Charlee's favorite backyard spot. Yet Mark's sadness lingered until, finally, time and an understanding neighbor helped heal his pain. This simply told story is right on the mark in legitimizing a family's, and particularly a child's, grief over the loss of a pet. Its sound counsel and suggestions for coping are gently incorporated into the straightforward story line, and understated black-and-white drawings eloquently reflect the characters' emotions.
Forever In My Heart - This remembrance journal is a special gift you can give to clients whose pets have died. It helps ease pet owners grief by remembering their pets' lives. The journal recognizes the human-animal bond and that grieving people need to celebrate the time they spent with their pets. Written by same authors as Good-bye My Friend and A Final Act of Caring, this sensitive book is an ideal way to show your understanding for your clients' loss. It's an inexpensive gift and more permanent than flowers or a card. Forever in My Heart includes poetry and stories, along with spaces for pet owners to write their own stories and paste in photos.
Good-bye My Friend - Through personal stories of pet loss, topics such as memories, pain, grief, and helping children deal with the loss of a pet are discussed. The booklet includes a page for you to sign or personalize for your clients.
I Remember - This fill-in memory book is a gentle guide for looking back at a pet's life from the joyful beginning to the sad farewell. Space is provided for photos or drawings, recording memories, and celebrating the many ways a particular animal was so special. For adults and children alike, the completed book becomes a treasury of remembrances to live on in the heart.