Pet Loss Support

Pet Loss Support

Pet Loss Grief and Support Resources in Sacramento County

Losing a family pet is an emotional experience that can be overwhelming to navigate alone. Professional help is available to help guide you through this difficult time.

Jodie Arceo, LCSW

Jodie is a licensed clinical social worker, therapist, and grief counselor specializing in helping her clients navigate the complex emotions around grief, loss of a service dog or pet, depression, life transitions, and stress. She understands the significant impact the death of an animal companion can have on families and helps them work through their feelings of loss with compassion and understanding.

Stephanie Rodriguez Certified Grief Counselor

Stephanie Rodriguez (née, Rogers) is a certified Grief Counselor with specializations in Child and Adolescent Grief and Animal Companion Loss Support. She has been a practicing Grief Counselor, Support Group Facilitator, Death Midwife, and End-of-Life Speaker and Educator since 2004. She has been an Intuitive all her life.

Stephanie provides individual, couples, and family/group grief counseling and education for all types of loss, including Disenfranchised, Traumatic, Cumulative, Collective, Complicated, Prolonged, and Anticipatory Grief.

SPCA Pet Loss Support Group

The deep love and strong bonds we have with our companion animals can evoke profound grief and mourning — which can last for years — when they pass away, are nearing end of life, are lost, or we are forced to rehome them. The Sacramento SPCA  Pet Loss Support Group offers a safe, compassionate, empathetic space to share grief reactions, discuss coping skills, and honor the lives of your beloved friend and family member.

Suicide Prevention and Crisis Lifelines

Sacramento’s Suicide Prevention Crisis Hotline and the national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline are staffed 24/7 by extensively trained professionals who can help people of all ages who are experiencing depression, hopelessness, or are considering suicide.

These services also take calls from third parties who are concerned about a friend or loved one and are available to listen, understand, and offer information and resources as needed. If you are struggling, help is available to you.
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Call or Text 988

Sacramento County Suicide Prevention Crisis Hotline

Books About Pet Loss

Here are some books we recommend that are appropriate for adults, teens, and families to read together.
For pet loss and grief resources that are specifically designed for children, we’ve put together an extensive list of books on our Children’s Resources page.
Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children
Recommended age range: All Ages
The death of a pet can cause enormous feelings of sorrow, guilt, and loneliness for children and adults alike, whether the end comes through old age, illness, sudden death, or euthanasia. Yet pet owners are often inhibited in their very real grief, even if the animal was considered a full-fledged family member, a child's favored playmate, or an elderly person's faithful companion. In this thoroughly researched and expertly written guide, the authors acknowledge and encourage such grief, and assert that pet owners must learn to cope with the death of an animal as they would with any significant loss—by expressing their feelings and coming to terms with their grief.
When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering, and Healing, by Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD
Recommended age range: All Ages
Affirming a pet owner's struggle with grief when their pet dies, this book helps mourners understand why their feelings are so strong and helps them overcome the loss. Included are practical suggestions for mourning and ideas for remembering and memorializing one's pet. Among the issues covered are understanding the many emotions experienced after the death of a pet, understanding why grief for pets is unique, pet funerals and burial or cremation, celebrating and remembering the life of one's pet, coping with feelings about euthanasia, helping children understand the death of their pet, and things to keep in mind before getting another pet.
Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet, by Gary Kowalski
Recommended age range: All Ages
From the moment pets come into our lives, we know the day will arrive when we have to say farewell. Still, we are never emotionally prepared for the last goodbye. In this book, the author takes you on a journey of healing, offering warmth and sound advice on how to cope with the death of your pet. Filled with heartwarming stories and practical guidance on such matters as taking care of yourself while mourning, creating rituals to honor your pet's memory, and talking to children about death, Goodbye, Friend is a beautiful and comforting book for anyone grieving the loss of a beloved animal.
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