What is Animal Chaplaincy?
Many of us share our lives with animals, both wild and domestic, and form deep bonds with them. As a result, it is natural to feel deep grief on the death or loss of a companion animal or pet and distress because of circumstances that may require separation from them. Unfortunately, our culture tends to not recognize the importance of tending to these emotions. Misunderstanding, judgement, and unhelpful comments means so many people feel like their feelings are not understood, and these emotions are repressed and not tended to, leading to the grief to become disenfranchised.
Animal chaplaincy is an emerging form of pastoral care that holds presence and space for people to process their emotions surrounding their animal friends. Animal chaplains accompany people as they process their feelings surrounding animal companions and pets. As a trained animal chaplain, I will accompany you as you tell the story of your journey with your animal friends. Animal chaplaincy is not a support for mental health services, but a multi-faith way to explore the spiritual and emotional issues surrounding our connection to our animal friends.
What Training Do You Have in Animal Chaplaincy?
In addition to the extensive pastoral care training and education I received as a fellowshipped Unitarian Universalist minister, I am a Registered Pet Chaplain®, having completed pet chaplaincy training with the Association for Veterinary Pastoral Education, meaning I completed a rigorous training program in the specialized emotional and spiritual issues surrounding the companion animal relationship.
Why Contact an Animal Chaplain?
Some reasons you may wish to pursue animal chaplain services:
- Discernment around end-of-life and other life changing decisions.
- Support in the grief surrounding the death of your animal companion.
- Support while animal is lost or missing.
- Assistance in creating a memorial to honor your animal companion.
- Support for those who serve animals on the frontlines, including veterinarians, vet techs, rescue works, shelter employees, and activists.
- Assisting other clergy to understand the spiritual and emotional issues their members face around companion animals.
My services are available locally in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, as well as remotely by Zoom.
To find out if animal chaplaincy is right for you, book a free consultation with Rev. Chris!