The loss of a pet can be overwhelming but you are not alone. A bereavement support group is available to you every second Tuesday of each month, free of charge, led by June Kaplan, LCSW. The in-person sessions are held at Guardian Veterinary Specialists.
Meet June Kaplan, LCSW
It started with a stray tabby cat in our neighborhood in Brooklyn. I was six years old.
I tamed him and made him my first feral rescue. I grew up in a rough neighborhood where kids did terrible things to strays. I was always rescuing something. In high school, I was determined to become a veterinarian. And in college, I was brought down to reality by organic chemistry. I switched my major and became a literature major.
The other really important influence on my life was my father. A really brilliant man and a good doctor, with a problem. He was an alcoholic. I got involved with AA and Alanon, which pointed me in a new direction, social work. I got my Masters and license and have been working in the social work field ever since. I have been very lucky to be able to integrate my love of animals with my profession. I have run a bereavement group at a local veterinary practice in Rockland County for twenty years. The loss of a pet is so significant, especially in today’s world, where depression, anxiety and isolation have become very common. We recognize the importance of our pets, for ourselves and our families.
During much of my career I was a working parent to two boys. I grew to understand the difficulties of work/life balance very quickly. My oldest son recently passed away of an incurable brain tumor. My life was thrown into chaos. I am so lucky to have a supportive family, sisters, my partner Warren and my step- children. And now grandchildren.
“My goal is to support to clients who are struggling with loss and difficult decisions around their pets’ care”.
How does it work?
The group is an open forum with a brief introduction of the concepts of grief, pet loss, and how it affects us. We’ll introduce the participants, who will tell us about the pet they’ve recently lost. We’ll ensure that everyone who wants to speak has an opportunity to do so. Participants can join more than one session if they feel the need.