Pets occupy a special part in the hearts of many people, and for most of us, they become family.

When a pet passes away, we can feel uncomfortable talking about feelings that come naturally, fearing we will be judged for loving an animal that much. Feelings of sadness and loss are real, however, and it is important to make space for them so healing can take place. It is also important to take care of yourself while grieving, and perhaps share the journey with others who understand.

If you are grieving a pet, perhaps you will join Pope Memorial Humane Society; we will offer a free monthly pet loss grief support group, led by Patricia Rode of Massachusetts, a pet-loss grief counselor who became interested in providing these services after the loss of her dog, Sonny.

The schedule is being determined; if interested in being contacted when it is set up, send an email to, or leave a message at the shelter at 594-2200.

If you are ready to welcome another cat or dog into your heart, there are several amazing ones at the shelter right now. One is Diego, a shortstuff 70-pound, 4-year-old mixed breed who is all cuddles and fun. He likes toys, people and food. He really likes toys! Diego could really use a home — he has been here a while and needs you, perhaps a cozy home and some oatmeal baths can help heal his dry skin patches and bring out his biggest grins. Come meet this handsome bachelor!

Interested in adopting? You can see current adoptable animals (updated daily!) at

Donations make a difference at Pope Memorial Humane Society; the shelter is independent, not associated with national associations, and cares for over 1,000 of our communities’ homeless pets each year. Your gifts give them safety and care, as well as a second chance at love. Thank you for caring about them as much as we do!

Top needs: cleaning sprays and wipes, trash bags in 33- and 13-gallon sizes, and pate poultry canned cat