At some point in a lifetime, everyone experiences some kind of sorrow and grief over the loss of a loved one. But to some, the loss of a furry family member can be more painful than some might imagine, total heartbreak. If asked, most would honestly confess a greater love for pets than for most two-legged family members. Sixty-eight percent of Americans are animal lovers and pets provide an “unconditional love” sometimes not expressed or found in a human relationship.
Started in July 2015, SPCA Florida’s Paws to Remember support group is now an essential part of the SPCA Florida mission. This program enthusiastically supports grief stricken pet lovers coping with the loss of a “furry family member.”
Some struggle to understand the connection between a family pet and its owner; however, the leaders of the Paws to Remember support group, Bruce Jordan (Certified Pet Loss Professional) and Belinda Reynolds, Practice Director for the Reva McClurg Medical Center know what it is like to lose a family pet. “It is so rewarding to talk with, listen to and watch people begin to heal,” Belinda explains. Barb believes this support group has allowed many grieving a loss to connect with others who have experienced the same loss without the fear of judgement. “The death of a loved one, animal or human, is emotionally painful. The support goes both ways. I feel stronger and better able to deal with my loss by listening to others share their experience” Barb confesses.
The Paws to Remember Support Group meets various times throughout the year at the SPCA Florida campus. For more information and upcoming dates, please contact Belinda Reynolds at [email protected].