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800 East Terra Cotta Ave.,
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Monday - Friday: 8 - 6pm
Saturday: 8 - Noon

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Pet Loss and Grief Counseling

Quality of Life Scale

Click here to view or download The Association for Pet Loss & Bereavement’s Quality of Life scale.

Click here to view or download The American Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) guide for end of life care.

Anticipatory Grief

This form of grief is experienced before the actual loss of your companion animal. Anticipatory grief is typically brought about by the diagnosis of a pet's terminal illness and/or the decision to euthanize. The decision to euthanize your companion animal may be one of the most difficult to make. It involves ending the life of your beloved companion and changing the unique bond that you share with your animal. However, the decision to euthanize also involves a very gentle and caring way to end the life of your animal friend.

After- Death Care

We partner with All Paws Pet Cremation and Remembrance Services for all after-death care. As life long pet owners, All Paws appreciates that your pet is just as important to you as a close family member. They understand that it is difficult for you to say goodbye to your beloved best friend. Pet cremation is a way to memorialize your dog, cat or family pet’s memory.

When your pet passes away, your pet will be cared for with the compassion and dignity that they deserve. Every consideration is made by All Paws staff to ensure that your pet is handled with care and respect during your pet’s after-death care.

All Paws offers:

Please visit All Paws’ website,, for specific details.

Pet Loss

The death of your companion animal may be one of the most significant losses of your life. With this profound loss comes grief and its associated emotional and physical manifestations: sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, helplessness, crying, fatigue, or changes in appetite and sleep patterns. It is important to know that these feelings are normal, and that grieving is a necessary part of the healing process.

The loss of a pet can be especially hard on children and may often be trivialized or overlooked. How to help children cope with loss of a beloved pet?


Grieving is the natural way that your mind and body adjust to a loss and heal your emotional wounds. We strongly encourage you to allow yourself to grieve in a way that gives you the most comfort. Allowing yourself to feel the sadness, anger, anguish, and loss will aid the healing process. Conversely, repressing your feelings may actually prolong your sadness and the time for recovery. During this time you may need the emotional support of family, friends, your veterinarian, and perhaps a grief counselor.

The amount of time required to heal varies considerably, ranging from days to years. Although you may feel that you have finished grieving, feelings of sadness may re-emerge with a holiday, your pet's birthday, or the anniversary of your pet's death. For this reason, some experts suggest that you give yourself, at a minimum, one year to grieve.

Support Groups and Grief Helplines

The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association offers a pet loss helpline and a free support group that meets once a month:

The Anti-Cruelty Society also offers a Pet Loss Support group that meets twice a month and is free:

Pets are Family Grief Group: Dogs On the Go

Additional Resources

Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement

Cornell University Pet Loss Support

Tufts University Pet Loss Support

In Memory of Pets

  • Animal Hospital in Crystal Lake, McHenry County IL