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Support group for people grieving over lost pet

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 11:50 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Anyone mourning the loss of a pet is able to get support from a new group called ‘Paws for Peace.’ The group was created by two women who met in the Grand Island Public Library parking lot, when one of them, Carmen Ortega, noticed a dog inside of the other founders’ car.

The two started talking about how there were no groups around the area to assist people through either a death of a pet, surrender of a pet or had a pet run away from home.

“Some people just want to talk about their animal, what their animal meant to them and their family, and sometimes, they’d been with that animal, 10-15 years, however long,” Ortega said. “And it is — it’s like losing a family member and you just need to talk about what they meant to you.”

Ortega added, one member of the group had attended to grieve the loss of her and her husband’s dog who passed — following her husbands’ death.

President of Voice for Companion Animals in Grand Island, Robyn Mays, said Ortega and her partner had come into the shelter to get a bit of help getting the support group up and going.

“You may not have the number of years that you usually have with a family member that you do with a pet, but with a pet, they’re with you from the beginning to the very end,” Mays said. “They have a brief life, but they’re with you for their whole life. And when you see a life from beginning to end, it’s similar to a family — and they are family.”

‘Paws for Peace’ meetings were planned to be held 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. each Sunday at the Grand Island Public Library.

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