Pensacola Humane Society holds event to let pet owners remember, mourn lost pets

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — About 20 people attended the Pensacola Humane Society’s second annual Rainbow Bridge Remembrance event Wednesday night. 

The Pensacola Humane Society holds the event on Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, which is based off a poem that talks about a place pets go after they pass away to wait on their owners. 

Jennifer Bitner, executive director of the humane society, told News 5 the event allows pet owners to remember their pets that have passed away, while also honoring their memory.

“The purpose is a combination of things,” Bitner said. “We have an open forum, a gathering, for folks to be able to come and remember a lost pet.” 

The pet owners that showed up for the ceremony recited the names of their pets and talked about what they meant to them. There were tears Wednesday night, some laughs and others were left feeling thankful for the humane society.

“I’m just thankful that you guys are still doing this until this day,” one pet owner said of the ceremony. “A lot of us don’t have stuff like this when we lost a special loved one.” 

Pensacola Humane Society staff became emotional, too, while reciting animals’ names that passed away this year in their care. The humane society is a no-kill shelter, so the pets that passed away died because of a variety of reasons.

Bitner said it’s the humane society’s job to get pets adopted. When those pets pass away, she said it’s tough on everyone.

“Here at the humane society, our focus is adoption, and so that’s finding pets their forever home,” she said. “When we find them a forever home, we find them their forever family, and when a family loses a pet, I’m absolutely positive it’s devastating.”

The Pensacola Humane Society will hold the event annually. 

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