Tracie McGrory, Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service Manager, said:
“Having to have your horse or pony euthanased or facing the end of your horse’s life is a very painful process and we really want to help owners who have to go through this difficult and sometimes lonely period. Each charity offers something unique to help and support horse and pony owners, and we hope that by joining our expertise and services and can support and advise them even more.”
Sophie Cookson, BHS Welfare Co-ordinator, said:
“We hear from countless horse owners who don’t know how to cope when they need to make this difficult decision. Our ‘Friends at the End’ initiative is a support for owners in this time of need. By teaming up with World Horse Welfare and Blue Cross, we can reach more horse owners to let them know they are not alone – we are there for them.”
World Horse Welfare ‘Just in Case’
Just in Case is a suite of materials designed to help guide owners through the process, providing a valuable resource and helping hand for anyone whether they are making the difficult decision now or simply preparing for all eventualities in the distant future.
Two leaflets are available: one to give the facts, and the other to help make a plan long before it is needed. ‘Just in Case: The Facts’ clearly and sensitively explains all aspects of the situation, such as the options available and what to expect, how to assess quality of life, insurance and legislation issues, and whether you should be there. ‘Just in Case: Owner’s Plan’ provides a clear form which can be completed in advance. Owners can also use this to be certain that anyone caring for the horse, for instance the livery yard or a friend, knows what choices they would make even if they can’t be contacted in an emergency.
British Horse Society ‘Friends at the End’
‘Friends at the End’ is a BHS initiative designed to make sure that no horse owner has to face the loss of their equine companion alone. Friends at the End was launched in response to pleas from owners who felt isolated and unsupported during the time every horse lover dreads. Through this initiative, our BHS ‘Friends’ have helped many owners either before, during or after the loss of their beloved horse.
All of the Friends at the End team have lost horses themselves and received training from bereavement counsellors, so they have a genuine understanding of the loss and grief that come when a horse dies. They aren’t there to take the place of a counsellor or vet, but they can offer an extra source of support. At the hardest time in a horse owner’s journey, Friends are available to make it as smooth and straightforward as possible.
Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service
Losing a horse or pony can often be equated to losing a member of the family. It is therefore very important not to underestimate the grieving process, and the strength of feelings that any owner or carer may feel once their horse has died. It may be useful to talk to family members, or in some cases a trained counsellor who deals specifically with people suffering from grief.
The Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service is a telephone helpline and email service that offers free and confidential support to bereaved pet owners, through a national network of trained volunteer befrienders.