As we noted in an earlier post, there seems to be growing recognition in our society that the emotion pet owners feel over the loss of a loyal animal companion is a legitimate form of grief. Here’s a further example: the Animal Compassion Network, a non-profit animal welfare organization in North Carolina, is launching a monthly “pet loss and grief support group” called Paws on the Heart. The facilitator, a longtime chaplain at Asheville, NC’s Mission Hospital, is “an avid animal lover and strong believer in the importance of honoring the pets in our lives.” Read the whole story here.
A couple of decades ago, people who held memorials for beloved pets or had them interred in pet cemeteries were regarded as kooks. Not anymore. Our evolving views on animal welfare have clearly brought changes in how we look upon a companion animal’s life and death. It’s reasonable to assume we’ll be seeing support groups like this one springing up more and more commonly in the near future.