Bereavement Support

Support Groups •  Telephone Support •  Reading Materials •  For Children

Grieving over a pet is a natural reaction to the loss of a loved companion. Below are some resources that may be helpful in the bereavement process.

Support Groups

In San Francisco, Dr. Betty Carmack conducts meetings on the 1st Tuesday of each month at the SPCA, 243 Alabama St. at Maddie's Adoption Center. Call 415-554-3050 to confirm. You can also write for free booklet called "Losing a Best Friend."

In San Mateo County, meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 7:00pm, at the Peninsula Humane Society. Call 650-344-7022 ext. 344 for information, or visit this page.

In Walnut Creek there are meetings the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month from 6pm to 8:30pm at the Contra Costa County Veterinary Medical Association, 1280 Boulevard Way, Suite #307. Call 925-932-0607 for more information.

Telephone Support

University of California, School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis, CA, Pet Loss Hot Line: 916-752-7418, Monday - Friday, 6:30 to 9:30 PM. Staffed by volunteers from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Callers place calls at their own expense. There are no additional charges.

Reading Materials

  • Losing a Best Friend, a collection of articles compiled by the San Francisco SPCA, (415) 554-3000
  • Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children, Herbert A Nieburg and Arlene Fischer, Harper & Row, 1982
  • When Your Pet Dies: How to Cope with Your Feelings, James E. Quackenbus and D. Graveline, Simon and Shuster, 1985
  • Living Through Personal Crisis, Ann Kaiser Stearns, Ballantine, 1984
  • My Cat Saved My Life, Philllip Schreibman Dog's Bark Publishing, 1998
  • Grieving the Death of a Pet, By Dr. Betty Carmack, R.N., Ed.D.

For Children

  • Helping Children to cope with Separation and Loss, Claudia Jewett, Harvard Common, 1982
  • Snowflake in My Hand, Samantha Monney, Delacorte, 1983
  • The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, Judith Viorst, Atheneum, 1975
  • When a Pet Dies, Fred Rogers, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1988
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