We have all felt how deeply our lives are touched by animals and the grief and loss we experience when we lose them or have to part ways. Dakin Humane Society's Pet Loss & Healing Support Group is led by family therapist and author Ken Dolan - Del Vecchio. Drawn from decades of experience leading groups for people who grieve the loss of their animal companion, our Pet Loss & Healing group offers the opportunity for healing that comes from sharing the journey of loss with others that are grieving. Participants listen, share, and celebrate the meaningful role that pets play in our lives.

Group information

Pet Loss & Healing support groups are held virtually, on Zoom.

Please RSVP to let us know you are attending. This will allow us to notify you of any changes or updates to the group session. There are a limited number of spots per session.

This support group addresses pet loss, grief, and healing.  However, this group should not be considered psychotherapy.

Our Sponsor

Gwen D. Gannon Inc. is a research and evaluation consulting firm that works with community agencies that provide behavioral health services and capacity-building support. With 20 years of experience and a proven track record, GDG Inc. is a leader in designing and executing streamlined solutions. "We are proud to serve the Greater Pioneer Valley."

About Ken

Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio headshot

Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). He is a lifelong animal companion enthusiast, having shared his home with dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, cockatiels, finches, chinchillas, guinea pigs, turtles, mice, one horse, and one rat. Ken and fellow therapist Nancy Saxton-Lopez coauthored The Pet Loss Companion: Healing Advice from Family Therapists Who Lead Pet Loss Groups. They host The Pet Loss Companion live broadcast on YouTube and Facebook every Thurs at 6 PM ET. You can find the audio version on Apple Podcasts and other podcast outlets. Ken is the author or co-author of three other books, including his latest, Simple Habits of Exceptional (But Not Perfect) Parents, and Making Love, Playing Power: Men, Women, and the Rewards of Intimate Justice.

He is an award-winning leader and keynote speaker in the field of workplace mental health and leadership. Ken appears monthly on NBC TV affiliate WWLP’s Mass Appeal show as an on-air expert on mental health, relationships, and leadership and has been featured in a variety of other media.

In 2017, Ken retired from his 19-year tenure at Prudential as Vice President, Health and Wellness, and founded GreenGate Leadership, LLC. At Prudential, he was responsible for behavioral health services for US employees, leadership consulting internationally, and violence prevention. Learn more here and see Ken’s videos on YouTube at Work Life Confidential and The Pet Loss Companion Podcast.

Additional Grief Support Resource

Please visit our online resource for more information on pet loss, including a video series by Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio.