Spring 2018

Document Type

Poster Session


Social Work


Paula Gerstenblatt, PhD


death, loss of a pet, pet bereavement, grief, personal experience, University of Southern Maine, Thinking Matters Symposium


On average, 80 million American households, or 34.8%, own one or more pet (American Veterinary Medical Association as cited in Cordaro, 2012, p.283). Despite the significant role pets play in their owner’s lives, the loss of a pet is inconsistently recognized as an authentic occasion for bereavement (Clements, Benasutti & Carmone, 2003). Research on pet bereavement focuses on pet and owner attachment, comparative studies examining differences in the child and adult pet bereavement, and pet loss via euthanasia. Despite the range of existing literature, there is a gap on the experience of pet bereavement; therefore, additional research is needed to understand the experience of losing a pet and how this loss is grieved by pet owners.

Start Date

April 2018



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