Pet Loss Hotline
Pet Loss Hotline Purpose
If you have experienced the loss of a pet or have a terminally ill pet, call us. Veterinary students are available to provide support and resources in coping with the death of your pet. The Pet Loss Hotline is operated by veterinary students from the Utah State University School of Veterinary Medicine who have been trained by a licensed psychologist in counseling people who have lost their pets.
Grief over the loss of a beloved pet can be a difficult situation and is experienced in different ways by each pet owner. There is no right way to grieve the loss of a pet. Our goal in becoming compassionate veterinarians is to help our clients better cope with the loss of their pets. Reaching out to our warm and caring volunteers will hopefully help you to continue the healing process. Not only will we offer you an understanding perspective but also resources to help along the journey.
We encourage you to email or call us at your convenience 24 hours a day.
Our phones are regularly staffed during the Fall and Spring Semesters Monday – Thursday from 5 pm – 7 pm Mountain Time, and we are sure to respond to email during these times as well. When USU is not in session or during holidays, the Pet Loss Hotline will have abbreviated hours checking phone and email messages Monday – Thursday evenings. All messages will be returned as quickly as possible.
All Pet Loss Hotline volunteers are supervised by Steven Lucero, PhD., a licensed psychologist in the state of Utah. Dr. Lucero is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience in grief counseling, clinical supervision, and helping clients to mobilize resources in coping with distress. He has trained the Pet Loss Hotline volunteers to respond empathically and professionally to all clients who contact us.
Our veterinary colleagues at other universities have set-up additional resources that may be helpful in your journey.
- CSU Argus Institute Support Services
- OSU Vet Med Indoor Pet Initiative
- UT Vet Social Work Resources
- WSU Vet Med Pet Health Topics
In the News
The primary purpose of the USU Pet Loss Hotline is to provide support in grieving a beloved pet. Pet loss can trigger difficult emotional responses that warrant professional help which is beyond the scope and training of the USU Pet Loss Hotline. While we provide compassionate support, we are unable to evaluate human mental health issues and do not provide mental health counseling. The services of the USU Pet Loss Hotline are not intended to directly support or provide a substitute for definitive mental health care, especially in a crisis. If you are looking for resources to cope with thoughts about suicide, self-harming, or harming others, contact 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 911 or your local emergency services if you are experiencing a mental health emergency.
While we are connected with the USU School of Veterinary Medicine, we are unable to provide veterinary advice or medical opinions.