The Association of Pet Bereavement Counsellors (APBC) was launched with the intent to bring self-governance to the practice of Pet Bereavement Counselling.

The APBC’s founding was announced by Dawn Murray BCAh, a leading UK pet bereavement counsellor, and her fellow colleagues. Their mission is to ensure that pet owners can access the best possible support by adhering to a Code of Conduct in an industry that is currently unregulated.

Dawn Murray, who has over twenty years of experience counselling grieving pet owners, stated, “An Association promoting pet bereavement counsellors is long overdue. It will hugely benefit pet owners to identify the best pet bereavement counsellors, when previously they were unsure where they could find a counsellor who specialises in pet bereavement and who can validate, reassure and truly empathise with their loss.”

Promoting Collaboration and Communication within the Industry

The APBC aims to serve as a benchmark for pet owners seeking pet bereavement support, with accredited members possessing the specialist knowledge and experience necessary for addressing this particular type of loss. The Association is dedicated to upholding its members’ professionalism and ethical conduct to guarantee the highest quality of care for clients.

The APBC advocates for collaboration and cooperation among pet bereavement counsellors and other allied professionals. It champions networking and professional development opportunities, while encouraging peer support. The Association is committed to fostering mutual respect and working together to raise awareness about this niche field of counselling, as well as improving the support provided to clients.

Membership in the APBC is exclusive, setting criteria that necessitate a correct understanding, along with the knowledge and experience to be considered for accreditation. Only those who meet these standards will be accepted as Accredited Members, assuring that pets and their owners receive compassionate and qualified support in times of need.

Understanding the Emotional Investment

The number of companion animals in the UK exceeds 13 million, and the harsh reality is that the death of these beloved pets each year leaves a significant impact on their carers. Contemporary companion animals are increasingly seen as cherished family members, receiving immense amounts of time, emotional, and financial investment from their caretakers.

The loss of a companion animal often results in profound grief, which can be intensified by the concept of disenfranchised grief, where the loss is minimally acknowledged or understood by society. This can leave pet owners feeling isolated and uncertain about seeking appropriate support in the wake of their pet’s death. The APBC seeks to bridge this gap, providing a lifeline to pet carers as they confront the daunting prospects of pet bereavement.

By implementing these structures and offering a source of reliable and dedicated expertise, the APBC aims to make an impact in the sphere of pet care and bereavement services.