Pet Loss


The end of a pet’s life can be very difficult. Choosing whether or not to euthanize a sick pet is a very personal decision. If you are faced with this unfortunate situation, we strongly recommend talking to your veterinarian, family and friends about the decision. Though the Jacksonville Humane Society cannot make recommendations regarding euthanasia for ill animals, our goal is to provide you with resources that may help you during this difficult time:

ASPCA Counseling Services can provide information and guidance for pet owners facing the death of a pet, including emotional support, preparing for euthanasia and advice on communicating with children about pet loss. You can speak with someone from ASPCA Counseling Services by utilizing their free, 24-hour Pet Loss Hotline:

  • Call 1-800-946-4646
  • When prompted, enter pin number 1407211
  • After the beep, enter your area code + phone number
  • A counselor from the ASCPA will return your call
Other euthanasia resources:
ASPCA position statement on euthanasia
AMVA article “How do I know it is time? Pet euthanasia”

Coping With Loss

Pets are often considered family members, so it is natural for people to experience stages of grief after losing a pet. While everyone goes through the grieving process in their own way, generally, the stages of grief will begin with feelings of denial, followed by bargaining (with a higher power, themselves or their pet), anger, sadness and acceptance. In multiple pet households, the surviving pets often grieve as well. They may refuse to eat, whimper or seem lethargic. It is important to give these pets lots of love and maintain a normal routine to help reduce their stress levels.

Grief Support Resources

ASPCA tips for parents facing pet loss
Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement
Pet Loss Support (links, hotlines, FAQ, support groups)


The pet cemetery has been a part of the Jacksonville Humane Society’s history dating back to the turn of the century. The Cemetery is maintained on the Humane Society grounds where over 1,000 beloved pets are buried. With the expansion that began in 1998, plots are still available for purchase. Please call our Facilities Department at 904-493-4571 for more information.