Grief School: Pet Loss

This Grief School panel discussion brings research experts together with people who have experienced grief and loss as a result of losing a beloved pet, an often overlooked type of bereavement that affects so many people.

The discussion is facilitated by Diane James, Pet Bereavement Support Service Manager with Blue Cross for Pets, a charity that transforms the lives of pets across the UK.

We are joined by Lesley Winton, a former volunteer with the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Helpline and founder of Fostering Compassion. Lesley has long recognised that the issue of pet bereavement and the heartache and devastation it can cause is very often overlooked, belittled and a disenfranchised area of grief.

Dr Andrew Flack from the University of Bristol also joins this panel. He’s an animal and environmental historian who works primarily on human engagements with the non-human animal world across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Journalist and radio producer Jane Rennard developed an interest in the impact of pet loss and bereavement while gaining her Masters in Anthrozoology. Her research into the content and function of human-style pet eulogies was published in 2018. Jane is a lifelong pet owner, and recently lost her 15 year old German Shepherd, Tallulah. She volunteers for the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Service and is working on her book, The Pet Loss Survival Guide.