Pet Loss Support

“Stories untold fester. Stories unheard become illness and despair. Stories unspoken undo the mind and the soul. Stories told  heal the heart. Stories witnessed create community. Stories heard become wisdom.”
-Deena Metzger

BirchBark Foundation’s Grief Support Group

Pet loss can result in overwhelming feelings of grief, despair, and a devastating sense of loss.  BirchBark wants to provide a safe and comforting place for pet families to join a nurturing support group. NO cost to attend but donations appreciated! Handicap access is available.

Registration is required as group is subject to cancellation if not enough people are signed up.


You may also call (831.471.7255) or email ( to register.

When: The 2nd Thursday of the month from 6:30pm-8pm *Due to a scheduling conflict, their September 2019 group will be held on the 3rd Thursday
Where: The Education Center next door to the Santa Cruz Animal Shelter, 2260 7th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA
Facilitators: Terri Drake, LMFT 831.469.3200

The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge…

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they miss someone very special to them; who had to be left behind.  They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. The bright eyes are intent; the eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to break away from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

YOU have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.


Shelter Location

2601 Chanticleer Ave.

Santa Cruz, CA 95065

(P) 831-465-5000 (F) 831-479-8530


Hours of Operation

Mon & Tues - CLOSED

Animal Browsing Wed to Sun 11am - 5pm

*PET FOOD PANTRY - Fridays 1:00pm - 3:00pm

The Santa Cruz SPCA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of animals. We receive no government funding, and depend solely on financial support from our friends. Our organization is not affiliated with any other SPCA or Humane Society.

Tax ID: 94-6171565

© 2017 Santa Cruz SPCA