Grief Support – Resources

We are deeply sorry for your loss.

If you have recently lost your pet, we understand that this is a difficult time. While a decision will need to be made about how to handle your pet’s remains, you will have 72 hours to consider your options.

We understand these decisions are painful and we will do all we can to make this process as simple as possible. If you are in need of further assistance in coping with your own, or a child’s grief over the loss of a pet, please scroll down.  You will find a list of helpful resources, books and grief counseling services that may be of help.

Cremation and Burial Services
Hospitals within the Ethos network use Forget-Me-Not Pet Crematory for cremations.

For more information on the process, fees and urn choices, please call or go to their website:, call or email them.
Phone: 508.393.0133

Cremation options at Forget-Me-Not include private, individual and group cremation of your pet.  Family members are welcome to witness their pet’s private cremation, by appointment. With both the private and individual services your pet’s ashes (and only those of your pet) will be returned to you. Ashes of pets cremated with the group option are scattered at the Animal Rescue League Cemetery in Dedham, MA.

Burial Services
For burial services, Forget-Me-Not Pet Crematory provides free transportation for your pet to Pine Ridge Cemetery, an Animal Rescue League cemetery, in Dedham, MA.
Please contact Pine Ridge to make burial arrangements.
Phone: 617.226.5652

If you would prefer to work with another service, or if you prefer to make your own arrangements, please let our client care coordinators know; they will gladly assist.

You and your pet deserve to be treated with the utmost respect at this time. We are available to answer any and all questions that you may have regarding this painful process.


Pet Loss Support Group at Mass Vet

Pet loss support groups create an understanding and non-judgmental environment where members can share their feelings surrounding the loss of their companion. You are not alone in your grief and our support group allows pet owners to meet other members who understand what it’s like to lose a cherished pet. The group is run by our social worker, Christina Stephens-Malloy, LCSW who is committed to helping pet owners before and after the loss. The Pet Loss Support Group at Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital is open to anyone who has experienced or anticipates the loss of a pet or service animal. If you are interested in attending our group or would like more information, please contact Christina at 781-528-6802 or

Pet Loss Counseling

National Support Hotlines and Resources

University of California at Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine

Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine
(607) 253-3932

University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine
1-877-394-CARE (toll-free)
(217)-244-CARE (local)

Tufts University, School of Veterinary Medicine
(508) 839-7966

Washington State University
(509) 335-5704

Resources on the Web

American Veterinary Medical Association

Pet Loss Memorials & Support

Horse Loss Support

Why We Need to Take Pet Loss Seriously

Additional Support Materials

Books for Children:

  • Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant
  • Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant
  • I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm, Crown Pub
  • A Special Place for Charlee: A Child’s Companion Through Pet Loss by Debra Morehead
  • A Gift From Rex by Jim Kramer, DVM
  • Tear Soup by Pat Schweibert and Chuck DeKlyen
  • The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst
  • Annie Loses Her Leg But Finds Her Way by Sandra J. Philipson
  • Healing Your Grieving Heart for Kids by Alan Wolfelt, PhD
  • Goodbye Mousie by Robie Harris
    Tough Boris by Mem Fox, Harcourt

Books for Adults:

  • Goodbye My Friend by Herb and Mary Montgomery
  • A Final Act of Caring by Herb and Mary Montgomery
  • Journey Through Pet Loss by Deborah Antinori
  • Grieving the Death of a Pet by Betty J. Carmack
  • How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies by Therese Rando
  • The Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James and Russell Friedman
  • Healing Your Grieving Heart by Alan Wolfelt, PhD

This information was made available by the Argus Institute at Colorado State University, James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital and is also available on the web at

24 Hour Emergency & Specialty

Boston West Veterinary Emergency and Specialty


Capital District Veterinary Referral Hospital


Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital


Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital