Sorry about your pets, Justin.
People often don't understand how much animals mean to people. For most of my life, since I don't have children nor do I plan to have any, I've had pets, and each has been as important to me as if it were my own child. I've had to defend them from other animals, people (I had a guy threaten my dog once, and needless to say he didn't think of doing it a 2nd time), take care of them when they're sick, play with them... They've always got personality, they have distinct feelings and emotion like a person.
People often play down the importance of people over animals, but to me there are few people I'd ever consider as being more important to me than my pets, and at best they'd be equal, not of more or less importance. Right now I have 3 cats and a dog, and I hope they all have long happy lives with me.