Local Pet Crematorium: Alternatives to Honor a Beloved Friend


Pet owners can remember their departed companion animals in a variety of meaningful ways.

When Teddy’s parents first adopted her, she was only 6 weeks old. When Sandy and Gary West first laid eyes on her in 1978 at a local animal shelter, it was instantaneous love for all three of them. They had seen her picture in the newspaper that was distributed in their community and decided to pay her a visit to find out more about her. They already had a dog and several cats, so adding one more cat didn’t make much difference.

Both of the Wests had had pets as children, and the Wests made it a point to ensure that their only child, Chad, who is now an adult and has his own family, also has pets. It was simple for them to feel affection for all of their pets throughout the years. It was challenging to part ways with them.

In accordance with the natural order of things, every living thing will perish at some point. Some passed away due to old age, while others had issues with their health. Others, for a variety of reasons, are put to death by euthanasia.

In 1990, when Teddy became ill and had to be euthanized, West considered other options besides burying her in the backyard. Teddy had passed away. She wished there was another way to honor the memory of her furry companion. Because of the large number of animals that are buried in our backyard, I decided that I wanted to try something new.

West recalled an article she had read about cremating pets and decided to look into the possibility of doing so. Teddy was cremated, and her ashes are currently kept in an urn in the house that she shared with her family. Her dog collar is draped around the urn in memory of her. Since that time, West has decided to cremate three animals—two dogs and a cat—and their ashes, along with their collars, are present in the house. There are photographs taken over the years of the family’s various animals dispersed throughout the home.

West finds it difficult to contemplate parting with her animals, but she is comforted by the knowledge that when the time comes, she won’t be without them for very long. West revealed that she plans to have the remains cremated at a local funeral home that offers the service.

Funeral director Chris Butler stated that it was such sentiments that led him to believe there was a need for a local pet crematorium in the area.

“We have families come by and bring roses for their pets, or maybe a favorite toy,” said Butler. “We have families come by and bring roses for their pets.” It is sometimes beneficial for them to say their goodbyes.

The funeral home in Illinois provides two distinct types of cremation services: one in which the ashes are scattered on a family farm owned by the Butlers, and the other in which the animal’s remains are returned to the family after the procedure has been completed.

He said that for some people “getting the remains back is just too emotionally taxing.” It’s possible that other people didn’t feel as connected to the animal as you did, in which case they might not want the remains in the house.

There are some pet owners, like Jennifer Freeman of Springfield, Illinois, who choose cremation with the intention of eventually burying their companion animal alongside them.

Sadie, a golden retriever who belonged to Freeman, lived to be almost 14 years old before she passed away. Keeping Sadie’s memory alive has always been a priority for her family. The dog’s loved ones and friends came to say their final farewells to him before he passed away. Sadie would always fall asleep in front of the fireplace, so after she was put to sleep, her family erected a memorial for her right above where she used to sit.

Following the return of her ashes, we positioned her on top of the fireplace with pictures encircling her. Freeman remarked that it was a prestigious position for her to hold.

Butler explained that a lot of people choose to keep the ashes of their pets at home and display them, so he decided to sell personalized urns as well. Some of them have the appearance of doghouses and even have a place for a picture of the owner’s dog or cat. Some of them have the appearance of garden rocks that could be placed outside. The head of the animal’s breed is depicted on the top of a popular type of urn.

Even though cremation is becoming more common, some people still opt for the more traditional practice of burial. The German shepherd that belonged to Jennifer Miller was laid to rest on the land that belonged to her grandparents after the dog passed away in September of last year.

Miller’s dog Virtue had been with him for 15 years when she passed away, and he wanted to find a unique way to honor her memory for many years to come. According to what she said, “We planted tulip bulbs on top of her grave, and they should be getting ready to come up.”

Dr. Gregory Hurst, a veterinarian in Springfield, has been in practice for the past 20 years and has witnessed many different ways in which families memorialize their deceased pets.

He explained, “We have had families bring in kits to have the animal’s paw print put in concrete.” “We have had families bring in kits.” After that, we engraved the customer’s name into the concrete or used decorative stones so that it could be displayed outside.

Many people decide to honor the memory of their pet by making a financial contribution to their preferred animal organization or by purchasing an advertisement in their local newspaper.

Hurst shared that it is difficult for him to witness the passing of his clients’ pets as well.

“I’m running into animals that were once young and healthy, but now they’re old and failing,” he said. “It’s a challenge. You may feel as though a member of your family is being taken away from you.
Sandy West was of the same mind.

“They offer a great deal of companionship. They have no conditions attached to their love for you and are happy to see you.

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