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Sunday, February 25, 2024
NOTL palliative care launches pet loss program
Bonnie Bagnulo's beloved cat Secret Kitty was part of the inspiration for starting palliative care's pet loss program. Julia Sacco

Those who have lost a furry friend know that the grieving process for a pet is difficult, which is why Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care Service has launched its Art Beat pet loss program.

“It truly is a tragedy when someone loses their pet.” said NOTL Palliative Care executive director Bonnie Bagnulo.

“They’re like an extension of our family, our fur babies, so we believe the loss is something that is just as profound (as the loss of a loved one).” 

After experiencing the loss of her own beloved cat in 2021, Bagnulo decided it was time to offer something to the community that can help people navigate the troubling feelings that come after pet loss.

The program gives people the chance to create a special art project to honour and remember their furry best friends.

“We create an art project and everybody is able to use whatever art medium they want to use. So if they want to paint there’s paint and canvas available, if they want to do a clay project, I believe there is clay there.” 

The program is free to anyone interested and runs in two-week sessions, with the option to attend as many sessions as needed.

“We are hoping to run these constantly, hopefully every three months or so,” said Bagnulo. 

Bagnulo hopes that by offering this unique service to the community, it will open up a conversation about grief after pet loss.

“To just sort of pretend it isn’t there, I think it comes out physically and emotionally in other areas. So to be able to memorialize the past and walk through that grief and experience, then you can carry on.”

The pet loss program is open to people from all areas, not just Niagara-on-the-Lake residents, Bagnulo adds.

The next session is Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m.

Those who wish to register can sign up at http://www.notlpc.com/event-post/art-beat-pet-loss-program/?fbclid=IwAR1PtLya5Xz3_HQ8a7ktQ9Uq1jY4uhtk0D-Xd8jz2AHqBr7B3KOu4DI6KH8 


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