Vet backs moving film on pet bereavement

Veterinary Surgeon Robin Hargreaves. (s)
Veterinary Surgeon Robin Hargreaves. (s)

Burnley residents have opened up about their experiences of grief for a moving film on pet bereavement, which could result in a new support group.

Veterinary Surgeon Robin Hargreaves, of Stanley House Vets, praised the film, Goodnight, Friend, for tackling pet euthanasia.


“It’s painful to lose animals so people need to talk about it to process their grief,” he said. “We should discuss death and euthanasia when our pets are getting a bit older instead of making decisions when emotions are highly charged.”


Burnley film student Rowenna Baldwin captured an emotional meeting last month at Samaritans’ headquarters in Market Square, Nelson, where residents discussed both the importance of their relationships with their pets and methods of coping with loss.


“One person’s horse had died just after her mum’s death while another lost their pet around the time of having a road accident,” Robin said. “Some people can’t grasp why losing a pet would affect someone so much but it can intensify a person’s distress.


“Death is horrible but it’s inevitable and almost all pets will be put to sleep. It’s OK to feel sad but why do people feel guilty for doing a good thing? It’s more humane than letting the pain linger on.


“For pets it’s an easy and painless experience. The humans are in bits but they should be proud of turning an unbeatable disease into their grief, which they can process.”


The vets is keen to set up a monthly support group at Samaritans’ HQ. To express interest call 01282 863892.