Poison Control

ASPCA (animals only; fee charged) – 1(888) 426-4435

Pet Poison Hotline – 1(800) 213-6680

Animal Shelters

Town of Hempstead Shelter – 785-5220

Town of Oyster Bay Shelter – 677-5784

Town of North Hempstead – 869-7700 (will transfer the call to the shelter)

In Case of Emergency (After Hours)

VREC in Westbury – (516) 420-0000 LIVS in Plainview – (516) 501-1700

Pet Loss and Bereavement

Every pet owner eventually experiences the pain of saying good-bye to a faithful companion. The grieving process takes time, although the time frame is different for each person.

Sometimes the grief is overwhelming, and a person might find coping difficult. Our staff is always here to lend an ear and to try to offer suggestions to help ease the sadness, but some people might need a little more assistance. For these times, we offer the following support groups and websites:

Meetings are held the last Monday of each month at 8 pm at Long Island Veterinary Specialists (163 South Service Road, Plainview, NY 516-501-1700) and are open to all who have experienced loss, or anticipating loss. Please call before attending. Telephone and email counseling is available.

Animal Medical Center – Dr. Susan Cohen, moderator
212-329-8680 (direct number for counseling)

The pet loss support group meets every other Tuesday from 6 to 8 PM at the Animal Medical Center (510 East 62nd St., Manhattan, NY). Individual counseling is available free of charge if the pet has been seen at the AMC.

Other Pet Loss Hotlines

Cornell University- (607) 253-3932

ASPCA Grief Counseling- (212) 876-7700 ext. 4355

ASPCA, direct line to Dr. Stephanie LaFarge, PhD (877) 474-3310

Pet Loss Support Hotline at Tufts University- (508) 839-7966

Iams Pet Loss Support Center & Hotline at the University of Florida- (352) 392-4700

Chicago Veterinary Medical Association (in conjunction with the Delta Society)- (708) 603-3994

University of Pennsylvania (215) 898-4529

Pet Loss Resources For Children

1.Bryan Mallonie & Robert Ingpen, Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children, 1983, New York: Bantam Books; death as part of the life cycle

2.Debbie Morehead, A Special Place for Charlee: A Child’s Companion through Pet Loss, 1996, Broomfield CO: Partners in Publishing, LLC; story of dog’s aging and death, kind veterinarian

3.Fred Rogers, When a Pet Dies, reissue 1998, 1988, New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons; color photos, including veterinarian’s office, multi-cultural

4.Susan Varley, Badger’s Parting Gifts, 1984, New York: William Morrow & Company; after his death, Badger’s (Wind in the Willows) sad friends begin to feel better as they remember things he taught them

5.Judith Viorst, The Tenth Good Thing about Barney, 1971, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company; young boy loses his cat, ceremony and burial

6.E. B. White & Garth Williams, Charlotte’s Web, 1999, 1952, New York: Harpercollins Juvenile Books (also on audiotape & videotape); farm girl saves life of piglet, spider befriends & saves his life again, pig mourns spider’s death from old age

7.Hans Wilhelm, I’ll Always Love You, 1989, New York: Crown Publishing; one day a boy’s dachshund doesn’t wake up

8. 4 with slightly religious flavor

  1. Nechama Liss-Levinson, PhD & Rev. Molly Phinney Baskette, Remembering My Pet: A Kid’s Own Spiritual Workbook for When a Pet Dies, 2007, Woodstock VT: SkyLight Paths Publishing; interactive workbook with spaces for pictures, thoughts, as well as narrative about feelings, beliefs; good for children of any faith or none at all
  2. Elizabeth Jane Coatsworth & Lynd Ward, The Cat who Went to Heaven, 1983, 1931, New York: Simon & Schuster; poor artist is commissioned to paint a picture of animals biding farewell to the Buddha, his beloved cat wants to be included, even though according to legend, cats weren’t there
  3. Christine Davis, For Every Dog an Angel, 1997, Portland OR: Lighthearted Press; every dog has a guardian angel, even after death, keeping watch till “forever person” joins pet
  4. Cynthia Rylant, Cat Heaven, 1997, New York: Scholastic Press; what heaven is like for cats. . . they all sleep on God’s bed

List of reading and video material graciously provided by Dr. Susan Cohen