Bettendorf church’s pet ministry to host pet loss support group meetings

A five-week session will begin July 10
Bettendorf church to host pet loss support group meetings starting July 10
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 5:30 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) -The prayers of pet lovers was answered when a new pet ministry at St. John Vianney Catholic Church was launched in early January.

The ministry’s mission is to promote compassion for all God’s creatures and to encourage pet owners and caretakers with love and to support through prayer and action. One of the main goals of this ministry was to create a support group for those dealing with the grief associated with losing a beloved pet.

Kim McCool of St. Francis of Assisi Pet Ministry talks the grieving process, practical steps to take in the midst of grief, about the support group, and how to participate. McCool also talks about her own current pet companions---Frankie, Bella and Emma--and the grief associated with losing former pet family members Missy, Sally, Holly, Rolex and Toby.

The Pet Loss Support Group will be holding meetings on five consecutive Sundays beginning July 10 from 2-4 p.m. at John Vianney Catholic Church, 4097 18th Street in Bettendorf. To sign up, email

McCool suggests that those that haven’t yet lost a beloved pet but recognize that they are facing it soon might consider attending the meetings, as well.

The itinerary of weekly topics for the Pet Loss Support Group include:

1. The Challenges of Grief

2. Moving Through Your Grief Journey: Is This Normal?

3. Telling Your Story to Help You Heal

4. Remembering Your Pet

5. What’s Next?

Some of the other important talking points of the segment include:

  • Companion animals occupy special places in our hearts, and losing such a connection means that no one will ever fill that special place in quite the same way again.
  • Grieving the loss of a pet companion is normal, because the loss is real and it hurts and affects everyone in a different manner
  • Each grief journey is unique based on your personality and the length/depth/strength of the pet relationship
  • Support systems matter (consider getting help or joining a support group if you lack understanding in your personal life)
  • Remember the acronym DEER: Drink water, get enough Exercise, Eat balanced meals, get daily Rest

The public is also welcome to attend Pet Ministry meetings on the third Thursday of each month at the church.

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