Pet Loss and Grief Counseling

Most of us know the enormous sadness of losing a pet. The feelings of grief, despair, and loss are sometimes overwhelming. Berkeley Humane is here to help. Sessions begin with a half-hour discussion about a featured stage of grief, followed by an hour for sharing personal grief experiences. Participants may attend the talk, the support group, or both.


Berkeley Humane was the first organization in the East Bay to start offering pet loss emotional support. Since 2004, we have provided comfort to thousands of pet parents who were searching for ways to cope with the loss of a beloved family pet.


3rd Tuesday of each month
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM


2700 Ninth Street, Berkeley


Jill Goodfriend, RN, LCSW
(510) 393-1359

Sylvia Wenninger, LMFT, RYT
(415) 341-4905



There is no fixed fee.
We do appreciate donations to
help cover our costs.


Jill Goodfriend is a registered nurse and licensed clinical social worker with nearly four decades of clinical experience. She has developed a specialty in offering group and individual counseling and therapy to people who have experienced loss and are dealing with issues of grief. Most recently, as the Disaster Mental Health Coordinator for the Alameda County of the Bay Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, Jill has been involved with providing crisis intervention, grief counseling and referral to families of local house fires and disasters, many of whom have lost their beloved pets along with their material possessions. In her personal life, Jill has been a lifelong animal lover and advocate. Over the years, her pets have included dogs, cats, birds, goldfish, and a turtle. She currently has two rescued cats and volunteers for a local animal rescue organization. Jill feels drawn to offering her experience and skills to meet the needs of the bereaved individuals facing life without their special animal friends.


Along with Jill Goodfriend, Sylvia Wenninger is co-facilitator of the pet loss support group at Berkeley Humane, where she brings together her love of animals and her work as a licensed therapist. She has personal experience with loss of loved ones as well as training as a bereavement counselor at Hospice by the Bay. In addition, she has volunteered at animal shelters, worked in pet hospitals, and currently volunteers at Cat Town in Oakland. Sylvia has a private therapy practice where she offers both traditional psychotherapy and sessions that integrate psychotherapy with yoga. Find out more at