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Valencia Family Resource Library Guide: Community Helpers

Community Helpers

Community Helpers

community photo

Below find suggestions for types of helpers that may exist within your community.

Some are resources for you to explore in a face to face setting, others are for you to look up online and continue your reading.

Community Helpers

The following are suggestions for types of helpers that may exist within your community. Some are resources for you to explore in a face to face setting, others are for you to look up online and continue your reading. If you would like to keep this sheet when you return the kit to the library you are welcome to do so.


Whether you’re making plans for your pet’s euthanasia, or simply looking for someone helpful when your child asks questions, it's most likely your family's vet has the knowledge you’re looking for in general and specific to your pet. Furthermore, if you’d like to have an autopsy to understand why your pet died, they can arrange for that to take place.


Parents often try to help their children during their period of grief but lack the training to properly discuss difficult topics like death, grief, and loss with children. We hope that this kit will provide you with the framework to honestly grieve with your children so that they heal and grow from this sad experience. However, if you feel you or your child are experiencing depression or anger that has gone on too long, we recommend you reach out to a counselor who can assist you.

Counselors can be found for specific age groups, genders, religious beliefs, or specifically for pet loss.

Religious Leaders

Everyone deals with different versions of the afterlife when it comes to the death of a pet. Some people talk about “The Rainbow Bridge,” others talk about “Doggy Heaven” or “Kitty Heaven.” How your family explains what happens after your pet passes on may leave your child with questions about what happens after we die that could best be answered by your family’s or community’s religious leaders.

Cultural Leaders

Teachers, librarians, childcare providers, extended family members, and friends of your family may all be leaders during this time of healing for your child. Letting your child know these are all safe people to talk to will allow them to see how large their support system is. Similarly, you may want to warn those people that your family has experienced this loss. If you have any particular messages you’re conveying (such as the honest version of events for a pet who has been killed in a car accident, the inclusion or exclusion of afterlife beliefs, or avoiding euphemisms for death), you’ll want to share those when appropriate.

Animal Shelters

When the time is right to begin looking for a new pet, an animal shelter will have a variety of animals who are looking for forever homes filled with the love your home holds. Shelters can also be places to go when your child is missing their pet, as you can interact with a wide variety of animals. Your children may also wind up with questions about new types of animals that the shelter technicians can answer.

Additional Reading

Buzhardt, L. F., & Steib, S. D. (2008). Can We Have One?: A Parent's Guide to Raising Kids with Cats and Dogs. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.

“Coping with the Death of your Pet” (2017). Retrieved February 13, 2017, from http://

“Five Stages of Grief” by Elisabeth Kubler Ross & David Kessler. Retrieved February 13, 2017, from 

The Healing Library

All material in these activities has been obtained from THE HEALING LIBRARY: THE DEATH OF A PET, unless otherwise noted.

The Valencia College libraries do not welcome solicitation of resources to be added to our LibGuides. This includes but is not limited to vendors, search engine optimizers, placement of ads, products, or any other requests. Our LibGuides are carefully curated resources developed in partnership with faculty, staff, and students to support specific assignments, courses, events, and other related purposes at Valencia College. The Valencia libraries reserve the right to ignore LibGuide resource solicitations, and/or block persistent requests from groups or individuals to add or promote links in our LibGuides.