How can a service dog organisation help their handlers through the loss of their relationship?

Project specs




Lori Kogan



Funding agency

Human Animal Bond In Colorado (HABIC) in the School of Social Work at Colorado State University




When a service dog dies or retires, the loss has a huge impact on their handler, who often rely on their dog to live independently. As a service dog organisation, there is much you can do to support your handlers prior to their loss, and afterwards as they navigate the grieving process and transition to the next phase of their lives.

Researcher Profile

Cori Bussolari, PsyD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Counselling Psychology at the University of San Francisco and a licensed psychologist. Her research is in the area of pet loss, the human animal bond and positive coping.

Jennifer Currin-McCulloch, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Colorado State University. She studies factors that promote resilience among those living with serious and life-limiting illness.

Phyllis Erdman, Ph.D. is a licensed mental health counsellor and Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the college of Education at Washington State University. Dr. Erdman’s research includes studying various aspects of the human animal bond.

Lori Kogan, PhD is a Psychologist and Professor of Clinical Sciences at Colorado State University. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters, and books on topics related to human animal interactions in both psychology and veterinary medicine venues.

Wendy Packman, PhD, JD is a Professor Emerita of Psychology, Palo Alto University. Dr. Packman has studied, presented and written extensively on sibling bereavement and continuing bonds, the impact of a child’s death on parents, and the psychological aspects of pet loss.

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