Paws in Your Heart

Providing a Gentle Goodbye for a Beloved Pet in Your Own Home

Copyright Paws in Your Heart. All rights reserved.


Websites, Hotlines, Support Groups, and Books

The information below may help pet owners during this difficult time both before and after the loss of a beloved pet. Many of these resources include additional as articles‚ reading lists‚ and information about support groups.

Rainbow Bridge Poem for Pet Loss


General Grief Websites
Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine
Tufts University, pet loss support hotline
Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement
Pet Loss Grief Support Website
ASPCA Pet Loss Website

Children and Pet Loss


Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine  607.253.3932
Staffed by veterinary students trained by a professional grief counselor. Tues–Thurs‚ 6–9 pm EST

Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine  508.839.7966
Staffed by veterinary students trained by a professional grief counselor.
Mon–Fri‚ 6–9 pm EST

Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine  517.432.2696
Staffed by veterinary students trained by a professional grief counselor.
Tues–Thurs, 6:30–9:30 pm EST

Support Groups

The Empty Leash in Buffalo

The Empty Leash Pet Loss Support Group. Contact Kym before attending at 716-714-5785 or, or visit

Other New York State Support Groups


Goodbye, Friend
Gary Kowalski
This book included are ideas for honoring your animal companion's life and advice on how to take care of yourself after the death of a pet.  Additionally there is information about the importance of honesty when talking with children about this event.

Saying Goodbye to the Pet You Love   
Lorri A. Greene, Ph.D.
Written by a psychologist who specializes in pet bereavement‚ this practical and sympathetic guide validates the pet owners often misunderstood feelings‚ explains the importance of the human-animal bond‚ and offers specific ideas for working through the grieving process.  The book covers topics like memorializing the pet‚ recognizing problematic thinking‚ finding support‚ and dealing with guilt.  Additionally the book provides information about explaining the pet’s death to a child and pet loss for the elderly and working dogs.

Pet Loss: A Spiritual Guide
Julia Harris
This book provides insight to understand the many emotional reactions and responses to the loss of a pet.  There is information about assist children in coping with and recovering from their loss.  Additionally topics include learn how different spiritual belief systems recognize and counsel pet loss; practical topics include what happens at a pet cemetery burial‚ cremation or home burial; what legal arrangements are available; how to develop a ceremony to honor the pet; and how to cope with the trauma of a terminally ill or runaway pet.

Three Cats‚ Two Dogs: One Journey Through
Multiple Pet Loss
David Congalton
The author and his wife survived every pet lover's worst nightmare - sudden, multiple pet loss in a house fire.  This true story chronicles their journey of recovery.  The book offers solace with personal anecdotes, practical suggestions and extensive pet loss resources.

Books for children:

Dog Heaven and Cat Heaven
Cynthia Rylant
These books will appeal to both children and adults though the content is simple words and colorful illustrations.  It takes the reader to Dog/Cat Heaven which is a place of warmth and happiness. In Dog Heaven‚ there are “fields and fields and fields‚” and in Cat Heaven‚ there is "a field of sweet grass, where crickets and butterflies play!"

Remembering Ruby: For Families Living Beyond the Loss of a Pet
Melissa Wells
The loss of a beloved pet can be devastating to a child. This is the true story about a boy‚ his dog‚ and the close relationship that develops between them. When Ruby becomes terminally ill‚ the boy and his family must cope with their feelings along the way, and live beyond the loss. By finding ways to remember Ruby‚ they make it through‚ together.

Saying Goodbye to Lulu
Corrine Demas
A young girl and her lovable dog‚ Lulu‚ are the best of friends. They play games together‚ explore their neighborhood‚ and even cuddle up to read bedtime stories each night. Lulu is the best dog a girl could ever hope for‚ but when she grows older and gradually becomes weak‚ the little girl must face the sad possibility of losing her dear friend‚ and inevitably‚ cope with the death of her canine companion. Over time the little girl discovers that the sweet memory of her beloved Lulu will live on forever in her heart.