Existing research, although sparse, suggests that grief for animals may be disenfranchised in nature, as it is often underacknowledged by society. Although prior studies have focused on pet owners and persons working with animals in diverse contexts, the experiences of animal foster carers whose animal died during their period of care has attracted limited research attention. Foster carers are vital to the functioning of rescue and welfare organisations, who rely on these volunteers to provide temporary in-home care to animals who are not yet eligible for permanent adoption due to medical, behavioural, logistical or legal reasons. This exploratory project begins to address this gap through a qualitative analysis of the lived experiences of volunteer animal foster carers. Seven participants were interviewed and data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Four superordinate themes were identified: The meaning of fostering animals, experiences of animal death, psychological impact of animal death, and coping with animal death. It is important for practitioners to acknowledge and validate the lost relationship and type of loss. The influence of the meaning of the relationship to the grief experience as well as practical and research implications are discussed.
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - 8 Aug 2018|
|Event||Australian Grief and Bereavement Conference 2018 - Novotel Manly Pacific, Sydney, Australia|
Duration: 8 Aug 2018 → 10 Aug 2018
|Conference||Australian Grief and Bereavement Conference 2018|
|Period||8/08/18 → 10/08/18|