“As the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) puts it, hospice care for pets is “an alternative to premature euthanasia and… an alternative to prolonged suffering which can result either from isolating an animal in intensive care or from inadequately treating the animal at home.”

Hospice certainly doesn’t eliminate the grief associated with the death of a beloved pet, but it does give parishioners the peace of mind that comes from knowing they have helped their pet enjoy a life that was as long and happy as possible. To provide the spiritual support needed to move through the grieving process, veterinary chaplaincy and has become a growing field, and increasingly, support groups for clients dealing with end of life issues are being offered at Veterinary clinics. The Association of Pet Loss and Bereavement is a non-profit organization that provides online resources, chat rooms, and training to chaplains, veterinarians, psychologists, and other caregivers seeking to offer bereavement counseling and support groups to pet parents in the communities they serve.”