OVER the past year I have been astonished at a situation which is troubling to me, to say the least. It came to the fore this week when a person called me to receive help for an incredibly difficult pet loss, amongst other issues. I talked with her for over an hour. Then I indicated that I would support her further but advised her that I charge a fee of $60.00 (inclusive) for a 3 week group loss or $60.00 for each private session (each of which runs for approximately 75 minutes). She thanked me and never called back. This has occurred rather frequently, to my dismay. It is worth considering the costs of veterinarians and other counselling / support systems which are considerably more expensive and, in many circumstances may have limited experience with death of either humans or animals.
Part of the problem I believe, especially in Canada, is that general healthcare has no cost. But this is not so for animals where, although there is now some insurance available (AT A COST), people must pay for help. Pet Loss Canada relies upon this money to maintain our websites (3) and solely to cover expenses, which is the reason why we are a non-profit organization. I always feel sad when someone needs help and yet, due to dollars, they will not obtain the professional support they need. At the same time, if I am contacted by a person who cannot afford our fees then NONE are charged.
I would ask that you consider this article on its merits. We are not “making a living” nor wishing to do so. In fact, most of those that have taken the group counselling course supports have commented that the fee is “too low” or “to little”. We have contacted various potential sponsors so that we could reduce or even stop charging. The most amazing response that I received was from one pet supply company that told me that they could not support PLC because all their marketing was based on an “up beat” theme, and death was “a downer!” Perhaps these companies do not recognize that the client that loses an animal today will potentially add another to their family and go back to the same supplier.
I make no apology for our fees since they are necessary to support all of our work throughout the globe and are as minimal as possible. But I can also assure you that IF I was able to reduce costs I would cease to charge them almost immediately.
Just an explanation for thought.