The loss of a pet or an animal to which one has become emotionally bonded oftentimes results in grief which can be comparable with the death of a human loved one, or even greater, depending on the individual. The death can be felt more intensely when the owner has made a decision to end the pet's life through euthanasia. While there is strong evidence that animals can feel such loss for other animals, this article focuses on human feelings, when an animal is lost, dies or otherwise is departed.
A counselling service for people who are having difficulty adjusting to the death or illness of a beloved pet was established at Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine. It will also assist in the training of veterinary students to help bereaved clients and will study how people mourn their pets.