Document Type

Thesis or Capstone Project

Publication Date



This thesis explores the bond between owners and their pets and the grief that is experienced upon the death of a companion animal. The goal of this study was to investigate the attitudes and perceptions of pet owners who have lost a pet in the last 5 years, focusing specifically on the pet owner’s understanding of and satisfaction with the pet memorialization/aftercare industry. Veterinarians have had the responsibility of supporting a pet owner through the death of a pet as well as providing assistance regarding final arrangements for memorialization. Increasingly, much needed support from pet cemetery and crematory service professionals is becoming more readily available. Whereas the typical avenues of grief resolution have been lacking for pet owners, the pet aftercare industry is filling this void. The full range of options and services offered by industry professionals makes it possible for a pet owner to openly memorialize a pet in a supportive environment, thereby allowing for an effective resolution of this legitimate, yet disenfranchised, grief.