|By Shirley Bittner|
The world of horror stories that we ritualistically endure so we can spend a sleepless night wondering why we put ourselves through such psychological torture has marked the words ‘pet cemetery’ with a dark and ominous feeling. However, far from being oppressive, pet cemeteries are serene and peaceful places where a pet owner can go to remember the life of a dear departed friend.
Pets are part of the family, and more and more people are turning to cemeteries or pet memorial gardens to help remember their pet once they have passed on. The difference between a cemetery and memorial garden is often one of name. However, more often than not, a memorial garden only offers markers that are flush to the ground where as a cemetery allows for fully upright markers. Pet cemeteries and memorial gardens come in a number of shapes and sizes. Talking to your vet or a quick Internet search can put you on the trail of a cemetery close to you.
It is important to make sure the cemetery or memorial garden is right for you and your pet. Visit the site and talk to the owners to get a full understanding of how the site is operated. Some sites are affiliated with regulatory bodies such as the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematoriums (IAOPCC). Bodies such as these assure that their members are following a code of ethics and high industry standards. An affiliation with a regulatory body is not necessary for the good running of a pet cemetery, but may be an added assurance to help put your mind at ease.
If you are looking for perpetual care, it is important to make sure that maintenance fees (which should be paid up front) are put into a trust so that there are funds available for ground maintenance as a cemetery passes from one caretaker to another.
Pansy Pet Cemetery
This pet cemetery is located south of Steinbach, MB. They cater to animals of all sizes and will bury caskets or urns, but do not offer any cremation services on site. Each plot includes a head plate in the shape of a cloud, symbolizing a pet’s entrance into the afterlife. The maker is flush with the ground and has your pets’ name, their year of birth and year of death. Plates can have up to 13 characters for a personalized message. The cemetery offers a number of caskets and can pick up from a vet for an additional charge.
Sandy Ridge Pet Cemetery
Located near Eden, ON, this pet cemetery is open to budgies, horses and everything in between. They also offer burials for caskets or urns, but do not have cremation services on site. They offer a variety of caskets and upright granite makers. Open all year round, they offer to do pick ups as well, making this painful process as convenient as possible for owners.
Country Club Pet Resort Memorial Park
Located in Rocky View Alberta this park welcomes all animals into its grounds, from hamsters to horses. They offer a variety of ways to remember you pet. Burials and a number of other options for cremated remains are available such as columbarium, a country columbarium or a wishing well. Markers are flush with the ground, however a few upright makers are allowed along the edges of the park. Caskets, urns and markers are available and pick up from home or veterinarian’s office can be arranged. The memorial garden is a member of IAOPCC and part of the Country Club Pet Resort.
Nothing is more difficult than saying goodbye to your furry friend, but putting them to rest in a beautiful pet cemetery or memorial garden may be a great way to honour your pet’s memory forever.
By Kevin Mogk