Many people either bury their pet or have it cremated and keep the ashes on a shelf in their home. However, if you like extravagant gestures and have recently lost a pet, we’ve found something that might interest you. Celestis Pets advertises “the most unique pet memorial service in the universe” and it certainly sounds like it. The company offers memorial space flights for your pet’s ashes. You can choose to just send them to space and back for less than $1,000, send them around the earth with an orbit voyage for about $5,000 or, if you feel very extravagant, send them into deep space or to the moon for $12,500. For more information about people as well as pets, check out our website www.diesmart.com.
The Virginia legislature recently amended state burial law to allow cemeteries to provide designated spaces for burying pets in caskets next to their owners.
Prior to passage of the new law, cremated remains of a pet could be buried in the casket with the deceased or the body could be interred in a pet cemetery adjacent to one for humans. An example cited in an article in the Martinsville Bulletin prior to passage of the new law is Noah’s Ark, a pet cemetery, that is adjacent to National Memorial Park Cemetery in Falls Church, VA.
The new measure is intended to help people who think of their pets as family members and who want them buried with them. The law specifies that pets and owners cannot share the same grave, crypt or niche and the pet section of the cemetery has to be clearly marked.
Now that the measure has passed, a couple can buy three adjacent plots – one for each of them and the one in the center for their beloved pet.
A few years ago, the New York legislature passed a law allowing humans to be buried in pet cemeteries along with their pets. However, pets still cannot be buried in cemeteries intended for humans.
Burial of a pet with its owner after death is a topic that has spurred a lot of discussion and emotions but very few states up to now have tried to deal with this issue.
For more information about end of life planning, go to www.diesmart.com.
In 2011, the New York Division of Cemeteries ruled that human burials could not take place in pet cemeteries. This left many people devastated because they wanted their ashes to be buried with their pets…but they couldn’t be.
According to Ed Marin, owner of the 117 year old Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Westchester, NY, prior to the ban more than 700 people’s ashes had been interred at Hartsdale. He said that he gets five or six requests per year for this service.
Now, New York state will once again allow animal lovers to be buried with their pets, if the cemeteries agree to two conditions:
1) They won’t charge a fee for the burial.
2) They won’t advertise human burial services.
For more information about burial options and other funeral related information, check out diesmart.com.
Do you know what a DNR (do not resuscitate) order is? It is a medical document that alerts doctors and other medical and rescue personnel about whether you want them to do anything they can to revive you if your heart stops.
I have been in the local hospital a few times for various medical procedures and am used to the questions that the staff asks before admitting you. And I have a DNR (do not resuscitate) document that I keep on file there. If my heart stops and reviving me will negatively impact my quality of life, I want my loved ones to let me go.
Information for and against human DNRs is readily available on the web and in books; anyone you ask will have an opinion.
However, for pets it’s a different story. Last week I had to take my dog, Suzi, to the veterinary hospital for a minor medical procedure and was given several forms to sign. One of them caught me totally off guard. I was asked to sign either a DNR or an “administer CPR” form for her. I had never thought about a DNR in relation to my dog and didn’t know what to do. I had no idea about how easily a dog’s heart stops beating during surgery and how quickly it’s quality of life will be impacted after that stoppage.
The vet told me that asking for a pet DNR is becoming common practice for many animal hospitals but would give me no recommendation on which form to sign.
When I got home, I got on the web and tried to research a pet DNR to see what the recommended practice is. I could find very little helpful information. I called friends with pets and they had no idea what to do either.
Luckily, the procedure went smoothly and Suzi was fine. But what if there is a next time? What should I do then?
We at Die Smart would love to hear from you with your opinions on this subject. To write a comment or to find out more about end of life planning, including human DNRs, go to www.diesmart.com.
Many people complain about funeral costs when they are deciding what to do about dear deceased granddad or mom; they think costs are too high and ask for cheaper options. But when it comes to a beloved pet, no one complains about what it costs to bury or cremate it. Cost is rarely even discussed. Rather the pet owner decides what he or she wants and then just pays for it.
National Pet Memorial Day was celebrated in September. According to the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories, it was a day to “increase awareness of the many options available to memorialize pets”. Less than ten years ago, pet aftercare facilities were almost nonexistent. People just didn’t talk about what to do with their deceased pet. Today, there are more than 700 pet aftercare facilities nationwide and the number is growing. According to Tom Flynn, president of Hillerest-Flynn Pet Funeral Home and Crematory in Hermitage, PA, it’s a rapidly growing business. His profits have increased by 25% every year since he began offering pet burials in 2006.
Nobody really knows what demographic is responsible for the industry boom. Some think it’s baby boomers, who turn to a pet after their spouse has died or their children have left home. Others think it’s people in their 20’s and 30’s who have delayed or opted out of becoming parents and have decided to get a pet instead. Still others think it’s older women who never had children. Or the very wealthy. But, in actuality, Ed Martin, Jr. of Hartsdale, NY Pet Cemetery and Crematory, says they “get everybody: men, women, rich, poor, young, old.”
A pet funeral can be expensive, with a bronze grave marker costing almost $1,800 and a velvet-lined casket in excess of $1,100. Did you know that in addition to pet burials and cremations, you can arrange things like pet blessings and candlelight vigils? Some companies offer even more services than you’d find at a human funeral home.
In addition, there are unconventional options as well. Although it sounds very weird, some people opt for freeze-drying their pet’s body which can cost as much as $3,000. And a company in Elk Grove Village, IL called LifeGem, has a process that uses carbonized ashes from cremated remains to create synthetic diamonds. Prices run from $2,490 to $25,000. The process originally was intended for humans but pet owners started requesting the service for their pets so frequently that it’s now 25% of LifeGem’s business.
If you’re looking for unusual ideas, a place to start might be Peternity, an online store like Target, but for pet grieving.
Whatever you decide when planning what to do with your deceased pet, be like everyone else. Don’t think about price. Just decide what you want and pay whatever it costs.