The free helpline provides emotional support and practical information to those who have lost a pet either through death. parting or a forced separation.
The service receives over 10,000 calls and emails a year from bereaved pet owners.
Volunteers who wish to dedicate their time to the support line will work from home and undertake an eight-week distance learning course to help them deal with the emotional aspect of the role. Volunteers are required to commit to one four-hour shift a week amounting to a 12 to 16 hours a month.
They will also be supported by the PBSS team based in Burford.
Pet Bereavement Support Volunteer Tessa said: “All my life I have worked with animals – loving and losing them: helping to ease them through their pain. The day came when I could no longer keep my two beloved birds and had to make a tough decision to have them put to sleep.
“The first and only number I phoned was Blue Cross’s Pet Bereavement Support Service (PBSS). At last someone who actually gave validation to my grief for two pets whose love had enriched my life beyond measure. There was no one else with whom I could share the terrible emotional pain I was in: no one but the kind voice on the line to whom I could talk freely without fear of dismissal.”
She added: “I applied to Blue Cross to become a PBSS volunteer. Now it is my reward to be able to offer a ‘candle in the dark’ to those suffering the pain of loss.”