Samaritans and vets link up for pet loss support

Samaritans volunteers with Stanley House staff (s)
Samaritans volunteers with Stanley House staff (s)

Caring staff at a veterinary practice have turned to the Samaritans to help them support animal lovers whose pets die.

All 61 employees at Stanley House Vets, in Burnley, Colne, Nelson and Barnoldswick, will take part in bespoke training sessions run by the Samaritans of Pendle, Burnley, Craven and Rossendale to help them support bereaved pet owners through their grief.

We understand what a difficult thing it is for most people to have an animal put to sleep. They’re such a part of your family and it’s perfectly normal to be upset and grieve

Liz Edmondson Day

Practice manager Liz Edmondson Day said: “We understand what a difficult thing it is for most people to have an animal put to sleep.

“They’re such a part of your family and it’s perfectly normal to be upset and grieve.

“We wanted to link up with the Samaritans so our staff can gain the extra skills we need to help people in what can be a heartbreaking situation.”

Many of the staff, from those working on reception desks to senior vets, will each undergo three hours of training tailored to their specific needs to widen their understanding of the grieving process and individual reactions to loss.

Specially-trained Samaritan volunteers will lead the sessions at the charity’s Market Square, Nelson, base.

Director of the Pendle, Burnley, Craven and Rossendale Samaritans Mr Ian Hartley added: “We take many calls at the Samaritans from people who have had to have their pet put to sleep or may have had to be parted from them if they have moved into rented accommodation or a care home.”

The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for those needing a listening ear, you do not have to be suicidal to call.

They can be contacted on the free-to-call 116 123 number, email them at jo@samaritans.org or call into the branch in Nelson.