About Chance's Spot


The Beginning

Chance's Spot was created in the fall of 1998 as a personal tribute to a beloved English Setter, Chance. In February of 1998 Chance was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma and on June 28 he died. As the website grew, Chance's Spot, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists grieving pet owners, was founded.

At Chance's Spot, we believe that pets are an important and engaging member of the family whose loss results in the same grieving process as would losing anyone close to us. We understand that the feelings generated when a pet dies are real and deserve the same respect as if it were any other family member. Through education, support and information, our mission is to assist the public in understanding that the grief suffered when a dearly loved pet is lost is a heartfelt example of how genuine the human - animal bond can be.

How We Help

Chance's Spot provides an online support forum, publications on pet loss, hotline numbers, and referrals to anyone who needs help to cope with with the grief associated with the death of a pet. Locally, Chance's Spot provides educational presentations on the topic of pet loss to pet caregivers, pet care professionals and rescue and shelter workers. Area shelters, veterinarians and rescue groups also receive support and information about compassion fatigue - the stress resulting from caring for and helping traumatized animals on a daily basis.

Honoring the Animals

Our yearly fundraiser, Honoring the Animals Candlelight Vigil, allows people the opportunity to remember their beloved animal companion who has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. This candlelight vigil and animal blessing is is held on National Pet Memorial Day, which is always the second Sunday in September. Although a local event, people from all over the world can submit their pet's name for inclusion in the memorial program book. Programs are mailed to countries such as Australia, Puerto Rico, and Germany.

About our Founder

Chance's Spot is founded by Gail Heller. Ms. Heller was Chance's caregiver for fourteen years. She has had several canine companions in addition to Chance and currently resides in the Metro Louisville, Kentucky, area with Noah, her Bluetick Coon Hound and Zoey, her English Coonhound.

Ms. Heller is an Ordained Minister and Animal Chaplain who performs a Blessing of the Animals at the annual Honoring the Animals fundraiser and for other events on request. She is also a Certified Pet Loss and Bereavement Counselor who works with pet owners and pet care professionals by providing support to those who are grieving or struggling with compassion fatigue. She volunteers her time to Chance's Spot as well as other area nonprofit organizations and has served on the Board of Directors for Pet Groups United. Her work at Chance's Spot has been featured in the Louisville Courier-Journal Newspaper and in the book Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss, by Sid Korpi.

Ms. Heller has cared for, trained and shown dogs and worked as an animal control warden where she implemented a Responsible Dog Ownership Basic Training Program. She has also worked as a veterinary technician where she assisted in the care and treatment of sick pets.

Schedule a presentation or host a pet loss support group

Chance's Spot will travel to meet with your class, group, or shelter regardless of your location. If you're interested in one of our Humane Education Programs or would like us to provide a presentation on Pet Loss and Grief, Children and Pet Loss, or Compassion Fatigue, or if you are in the Metro Louisville, Kentucky area and would like to host a Pet Loss Support Group, please contact us for more information.