Help in California


Grief Recovery Hotline

(800) 445-4808
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm PST

The Grief Recovery Institute
(888) 773-2683

The Iams Pet Loss Support Center & Hotline
(888) 332-7738 Monday thru Saturday, 8am to 8pm

College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois
C.A.R.E. Pet Loss Helpline
(877) 394-2273
The C.A.R.E. Helpline is staffed by veterinary students who have have received training from grief counselors. They also receive supervision from a licensed psychologist.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) National Pet Loss Hotline
424 East 92nd St., New York, NY 10128
(800) 946-4646, 24 hours a day - use your keypad to punch in the pin number 140-7211 and then your own phone number. The call will be returned immediately.
Contact: Stephanie LaFarge, Ph.D
New York City residents may be seen in person at the ASPCA headquarters.

University of California - Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, Pet Loss Support Hotline
(800) 565-1526
6:30pm to 9:30pm PST Monday thru Friday
Summer Hours: 6:30pm to 9:30pm PST Tuesday thru Thursday
Calls may be returned collect if no counselor is currently available.

Pet Loss Support Pet Friends
(800) 404-PETS
P.O. Box 131
Moorestown, NJ 08057-0131
Long distance calls will be returned collect.

University of Florida Pet Loss Support Hotline, Gainesville
(352) 392-4700, Ext. 4080
Staffed by University of Florida Veterinary students
Calls will be returned 7pm to 9pm EST
Website -
This hotline will call back anyone, anywhere, at no cost to the caller.


The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association Pet Loss Support Helpline
Emil and Mary Baukert. C/O Riser Animal Hospital, 5335 W. Touhy Ave., Skokie, IL 60077
(630) 603-3994
This Helpline was established in 1993. It provides referral materials on professional grief counseling and information packets on the areas of children & grief, euthanasia, pet loss & the elderly, and a pet loss bibliography. A volunteer will pick up voice messages and call back between 7pm and 9pm CST every evening. Long distance calls will be returned collect.

Companion Animal Association of Arizona Pet Grief Support Hotline
P.O. Box 5006, Scottsdale, AZ 85261-5006
(602) 995-5885
This helpline is operated by trained volunteers 24 hours a day. Long distance calls will be returned collect.

Delta Society Pet Loss Support Hotline
Palm Springs Network
146 Pali, Palm Springs, Ca 92264
(619) 320-3298

Michigan State University Pet Loss Support, College of Veterinary Medicine
Clinical Center, C-100 East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 353-5064
Contact: Sally Walshaw, M.A., V.M.D.
The Hotline is staffed by veterinary student volunteers from 6:30pm to 9:30pm EST on Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays.

Tufts University Pet Loss Support Hotline
(508) 839-7966
Hours: Monday thru Friday, 6:00pm to 9:00 pm EST

Companion Animal Hospital Pet Loss Support Hotline
Box 35, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-6401
(607) 253-3932
Hours: 6:00pm to 9:00pm EST, Tuesday thru Thursday


Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine Pet Loss Support Hotline
(540) 231-8038
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 6:00pm to 9:00pm EST


The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement's Chat Rooms are designed to provide a safe and supportive haven for those who have lost a beloved animal companion. Discussions are not ones for social chatting, as they are solely designated to cover topics related to pet loss and bereavement. It is important to note that while these chat rooms are caring and highly effective discussions, they should not be confused with clinical psychological counseling sessions. Rather, the focus is solely on pet bereavement. Although the tone is one of compassion and constructive supportiveness, this association cannot always regulate the variables that may arise in such an environment. In addition, advice or other considerations that are offered should not be construed as part of a professional counseling session. Those who are newly bereaved and visiting a chat room for the first time should try to come in as early as possible. In that way, more individual attention can be provided as chats can get crowded later on in the sessions.

Friday night, 8 - 10, EST. Dr. Wallace Sife, Moderator, Ellie Waldron, Co- host, and Karen Borga and Connie Starr, Assistant Hosts

Sunday afternoon, 2 - 4, EST. Sarah Robinson, Moderator, and Valerie Brideau, Assistant Host

Monday night, 8 - 10, EST. Ursula Brower, Moderator, Sarah Robinson and Laurie Koen Co-hosts, and Sue Laue, Assistant Host

Wednesday night, 8 - 10, EST. Ellie Waldron, Moderator, Gayla Stone and Deborah Norman, Assistant Hosts

Anticipatory Chat: Thursday night, 8 - 10, EST. Lois Roach, Moderator, and Jenny Wilson, Assistant Host

Dr. Sife, Ellie, and Ursula can be reached at if you are in deep bereavement and need to communicate before their next scheduled chat time.

To enter a chat room session, just click here.


AARC Sanctuary

P.O. Box 578763, Modesto, CA 95357, (209) 527-AARC,,

Alameda County/ Contra Costa County Pet Loss Support Group
Cecelia Soares, DVM
Meets the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of each month, 6 - 8:30 PM. Call for location.
Walnut Creek
Phone: (925) 932-0607

Animal Bereavement Counseling
1000 Quail St. #245, Newport Beach, CA 92660
(714) 721-5750
Contact: Rebecca Lewis, Ph.D
Animal Bereavement Counseling offers group services for those who have lost a pet or who have a sick pet.

Animal Friends Connection
1110 W. Kettleman Lane, Ste. 38, Lodi, CA , (209) 365-0535,

Animal Health Foundation Pet Loss Support Group
St. Augustine by the Sea
1227 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401
(213) 559-3164
This group meets the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

Animals in Our Hearts
(916) 454-4301
Web site:
Teresa Wagner, who has a master's degree in counseling, has been providing grief services since 1986. She offers private consultations and workshops both for people who have lost their animal companions and shelter workers who are grieving euthanized animals.

Teresa is the author of the incredible book, Legacies of Love: A Gentle Guide to Healing from the Loss of Your Animal Loved One, which was published by Matters of the Heart in April 1998. This is the first pet loss book to openly challenge and dissolve the myth that it is not healthy, and perhaps wrong, for humans to bond with, love and grieve animals as much as they do humans. If you've given up hope that anyone would ever understand the depth of your love for animals or your profound grief when you lose them, take heart from this special audiobook. This book will help you understand why animal loss is different and learn tools to not only cope with grief, but to truly heal and find meaning from loss. You are guided through a magical meditation to help you more easily accept letting go, to connect you with the spirit of your animal loved one, fill you with grace and love, and the knowledge that your heart will go on.

ASPCA Companion Animal Loss Grief Support Group
2260 7th Avenue
Santa Cruz
Meets 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of each month, 7:00 PM.
Betsy Jones, BA
Phone: (831) 465-5000
There is no charge. No need to call, in order to attend.

California Veterinary Medical Association Offices
Bonnie S. Mader, MS
Meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month.
5231 Madison Avenue
6:00 to 8:00 PM. There is no need to call in order to attend.
Phone: (530) 752-3602

Central California SPCA
103 S. Hughes, Fresno, CA 93706-1207, (559) 233-0115,

Emissaries of St. Francis Animal Loss Support
P.O. Box 1056, Mt. Shasta, CA 96067
(530) 926-6424
Contact: Sharon Callahan
Sharon Callahan is an internationally recognized animal communication specialist. She provides grief counseling. With 30 years of experience, her background includes animal communication, grief and suicide counseling. You can also call or write for a free information packet. Sharon works with grieving adults, children and animals.

Grief Counseling for Pet Owners
449 Melrose St., San Francisco, CA 94127
(415) 334-5036
Contact: Betty J. Carmack, R.N., Ed.D.
Betty has been in private practice since 1982. She works with individuals, couples, families, and groups and is also available for Service Dog owners. Betty leads a monthly pet loss support group at the San Francisco SPCA.

Hospice of San Luis Obispo County
1432 Higiera St., San Luis Obispo, CA , (805) 544-2266

Nikki Hospice Foundation for Pets
Rosemoor House: 400 New Bedford Drive, Vallejo, CA 94591
(707) 557-8595
As of 1998, this organization is the only nonprofit in the entire country promoting home hospice care for terminally ill pets. Their pet loss support hotline continues to help people from all across the nation, as well as from abroad. The foundation has trained pet loss support group facilitators to operate a pet loss support group at the local humane society, and they hold weekend pet loss support workshops on their own premises. Please check their website for more information on specialized workshops and training sessions. First International Symposium on Veterinary Hospice Care to be held at UC Davis March 28 to 30, 2008.

Pet Bereavement/Terminal Illness Support Group
Colleen Linnertz, MA, IMF
San Diego
Group uses creative arts to facilitate the grieving/healing process.
Call for schedule
Phone: (619) 301-3632

Peninsula Humane Society Pet Loss Support Group

12 Airport Boulevard
San Mateo
2nd Thursday of each month at 7 PM.
Phone: (650) 340-7022, ext. 384
Drop in basis - no need to register.
Host: Elsa Ten Broeck, MSW

Pet Loss Counseling, Center for Effective Living
9815 Carroll Canyon Rd., San Diego, CA 92131
(619) 566-3333
Contact: Meg Kaufman, MFCC.
Meg Kaufman is a counselor in private practice who specializes in bereavement counseling, especially for animal loss. She works with children, adolescents and adults. Ms. Kaufman is also available to speak to groups concerning the loss of a pet. Her background includes counseling in schools, hospices, outpatient psychiatric facilities and in private practice.

Pet Loss Support/Grief Counseling
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(213) 694-0321
Contact: Donna S. Melinkoff, M.A., MFCC.
Donna Melinkoff is a pet loss grief counselor. She provides individual, family, group counseling and emotional support to help cope with loss. Donna has 20 years experience as a social worker and licensed counselor, specializing in relationships, life changes, transitions and grief/loss. She also provides talks, educational seminars, and consultation to community groups, animal health care providers and schools.

Pet Loss Support Group - Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society
7 - 9 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month
Contact: Roy Gesley, (510) 752-7757 or Jill Goodfriend, (510) 393-1359 This would be a compassionate service to grieving pet owners who would not have to deal with a grieving widow. And it would also be a comfort to a grieving widow not to have to deal with grieving pet owners.

Contact: Cecelia J. Soares, DVM, MS.
Dr. Soares is a veterinarian as well as a family therapist. Her support group meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday monthly from 6:30pm to 8:15pm. There is no fee for this service!

Pet Loss Support Group - Humane Society of Santa Clara Valley
2530 Lafayette St., Santa Clara, CA 95050
(408) 727-3383, ext. 869
Contact: Helaine Ronen, MSW.
Helaine started this pet loss support group in 1997. It is for persons who animals have died or for individuals considering euthanasia for their pet. The group meets four times a month. Support groups are provided free of charge!

Pet Loss Support Group - Oakland Humane Society
8323 Baldwin
Oakland, Ca 94621
(415) 569-0702
Contact: Carol Nobori

Pet Loss Workshops and Presentations
Julie D. Richard, RN, MPH
Grief and Loss Educator
PO Box 62
Carmel, CA 93921

Redwood Empire Veterinary Medical Association (REVMA) Pet Loss Support Group
Cheri Barton Ross
C/O Montgomery Village Veterinary Clinic, 775 Farmers Ln., Santa Rosa, CA 95405
(707) 527-9330
This group has been operating since 1990 and assists those who have experienced a pet loss or who are anticipating one. Jane Sorensen, RN, MFCC, licensed marriage, family and child counselor and Roger Lake, CH.T. (certified hypnotherapist) leads the group. The group meets Tuesday night (excluding holidays) from 7:15pm to 8:30pm. The cost is $10 per individual and $15 for couples and families.

San Diego County Pet Bereavement Program
2058 Oxford Ave. Cardiff, CA 92007
(619) 275-0728
Contact: Lorri Greene, Ph.D.
This program provides support and counseling for those pet owners who have lost or are anticipating the loss of a pet. Free telephone consultations and low cost counseling is available from a licensed psychologist.

San Diego Humane Society's Pet Loss Support Group
5500 Gaines Street, San Diego CA 92110
(619) 299-7012 ext 2311
Two groups available: one Saturday morning and one Tuesday evening each month. Facilitated by Louisa Triandis, LCSW. $25 fee per person, per group.

Santa Cruz SPCA Pet Loss Support Group
2200 7th Ave
Santa Cruz 95062
(408) 475-6454 or (408) 688-4968
This group meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday  of the month.

Support for Animal Loss - Humane Society of Santa Clara Valley
2530 Lafayette Street
Santa Clara, Ca 95050
(408) 727-7845

Julie Axelrod, Psy.D.
2425 Colorado Avenue, Suite 208
Santa Monica CA 90404
(310) 535-1360
Dr. Axelrod is a licensed psychologist in Los Angeles, who works with families, individuals (adult and children) and groups.

Sheila Frank, Ph.D.
311 Camino del Rio N., Ste. 400, 299 Jamacha Rd., Ste. 220, El Cajon, CA, (619) 528-2399 ($10/group)

Sung-Christina Hwang
MS in Marriage Family Therapy
11712 Moorpark St. Suite 205
Studio City, CA 91607
(818) 730-1967

Dr. Diane Kelley
1494 S. Robertson, Ste. 202, Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 559-3164
Dr. Diane Kelley is a licensed psychologist with private practices located in Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach and Costs Mesa. Since 1977, Dr. Kelley has provided services for overcoming the grief of an anticipated loss or death of a pet. She also has advanced training in pet grief therapy.

Carol Kimbrough, MA, MFT, RVT
17513 Country Park Way
Salinas, CA 93908
(831) 455-2650
Licensed marriage & family therapist specializing in grief/loss and pet bereavement. Extensive professional experience in veterinary practice; broad experience as an educator at the community college level.

Anne de Lovinfosse, Ph.D.
Pet Loss Support Group and Individual Counseling, (415) 456-5502

Ann L. Palik, MA, MFT
12405 Venice Boulevard #200
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Phone: (310) 840-2341

Pet Psyc: Terri M. Austin, Ph.D.
Monterey, Ca. 93942
Pet Loss Counseling

Audrey Spector-Northrup, MA, MFCC
Nielson St., Albany, CA, (510) 704-5502

Bonnie Goodman, M.A., C.T.
Certified Thanatologist / Grief Counselor & Career Counselor
220 California Ave. Suite 120
Palo Alto, Ca. 94306
(650) 858-0755

Melissa Lopez, LCSW
Psychotherapist, Specializing in Bereavement, including Pet Loss
107 South Fairoaks Ave. #312
Pasadena, CA 91105
(323) 841-9950

Dr. Lani Chin, Psy.D.
Pet Bereavement Therapist, providing sliding scales services for those in need
11704 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 255
Los Angeles, CA 90025


Alameda: Abbey Pet Cremation, 1516 Oak St., Alameda, CA 94501-2947, (510) 865-8070

Anderson: Sleepy Hollow Pet Cemetery & Crematory, 4721 Rhonda Rd., Anderson, CA 96007-9006, (916) 365-9093

Atascadero: Oak Hills Memorial Pet Care, 1380 El Camino Rd., Atascadero, CA 93423, (805) 466-6607

Calabasas: Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park, 5068 N. Old Scandia Lane, P.O. Box 8517, Calabasas, CA 91372-8517, (818) 591-7037, 

Canoga Park: L.A. Pet Cemetery, Canoga Park, CA 91307, (818) 591-7037

Colma: Pet's Rest Cemetery & Crematorium, 1905 Hillside Blvd., Colma, CA 94014-2872, (650) 755-2201,,

Desert Hot Springs: Pet Cemetery Dogtown USA, 66330 Dillon Rd., Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240-7109, (619) 329-6624

Fresno: Central California SPCA Columbarium & Cremation, 103 S. Hughes Ave., Fresno, CA 93706-1207, (559) 237-0134

Fresno: Fresno Pet Cemetery, 1500 W Nielsen Ave., Fresno, CA 93706-0013, (559) 266-6753

Garden Grove: Ashes to Ashes Pet Crematorium, 12752 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, CA 92643, (714) 537-1109

Gardena: Pet Haven Pet Cemetery, 18300 S. Figueroa St., Gardena, CA 90248 (310) 532-2477

Huntington Beach: Sea Breeze Pet Cemetery, 19542 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, (714) 962-7111

Los Angeles: Cal Pet Crematory, Los Angeles, CA 90000, (213) 875-0633

Los Angeles: Royal Pet Mortuary , 2554 Lincoln Blvd. Suite 325, Marina del Rey, California 90291, (310) 313-2108,

Los Angeles: Memorial Services for Pets, - offers graveside services and eulogies in the Los Angeles area.

Merced: Franklin Pet Cemetery, 2405 Ashby Rd., Merced, CA 95348-3557, (209) 383-4582

Modesto: Pet Rest, 1649 Vineyard Hvn, Modesto, CA 95358-2272, (209) 521-5015

Napa Valley: Bubbling Well Pet Memorial Park, 2462 Atlas Peak Road, Napa Valley, CA, (707) 255-3456,,

Petaluma: My Pets Cemetery, 430 Magnolia Ave., Petaluma, CA 94952-2063, (707) 762-6743

Royal Oaks: Monterey Bay Memorial Park, 885 Strawberry Road, Royal Oaks, CA 95076, (831) 722-8722,,

Sacramento: Cremation Services For Pets, 5410 Tyler St., Sacramento, CA 95842-3349, (916) 332-9881

Sacramento: Sacramento Pet Cemetery & Crematory, 9558 Gerber Rd., Sacramento, CA 95829-1123, (916) 423-1042

Sacramento: Sierra Hills Pet Cemetery, 6700 Verner Ave., Sacramento, CA 95841, (916) 732-2037

San Bernardino: Gateway Pet Cemetery Crmtry, 3450 Frontage Rd, San Bernardino, CA 92407, (909) 885-1600

San Diego: AA Sorrento Valley Pet Cemetery, 10801 Sorrento Valley Rd, San Diego, CA 92121, (619) 276-3361

San Diego: San Diego Pet Memorial Park, 8995 Crestmar Pt., San Diego, CA, 92121, (858) 909-0009,,

Santa Ana: Ashes To Ashes Pet Crematorium, 1745 W. 17th, Santa Ana, CA 92702, (714) 973-8820

Santa Barbara: Humane Society of Santa Barbara, 5399 Overpass Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93111-2082, (805) 964-4777 (offers cremations)

San Ramon:Pet Cremation Services, 2000 Bishop Drive, San Ramon, CA 94583, (925) 866-8387 X175,  Sebastopol: Whispering Pines Pet Cemetery, 2601 Gravenstein Hwy S., Sebastopol, CA 95472-5248, (707) 823-5735

Sun Valley: Cal Pet Crematory, 9595 Glenoaks Blvd, Sun Valley, CA 91352, (818) 983-2313

Templeton: Eden Memorial Pet Care, serving San Luis Obispo County, Monterey County, and San Benito County. 888-216-6127;

Tujunga: Royal Pet Mortuary , Tujunga, CA 91042, (818) 352-8251

Victorville: Desert View, 11500 Amargosa Road, Victorville, CA 92392

Visalia: Visalia Pet Cemetery, 30819 Road 14, Visalia, CA 93278, (209) 798-0222




The above resources only serve as a guide. Although I am a Nationally Certified School Psychologist published in the field of human loss and bereavement (Stress and Illness in the Family: A Linear versus Family Life Space Perspective; The Child with Cancer: A Life Space Study of Six Families), I do not have personal knowledge of the expertise of any of those persons or facilities providing these pet loss services.

Rochelle Lesser, School Psychologist
President & Founder

Famous model Golden Rusty