With the grand opening of The Pet Rest in Peace Memorial Center and Crematory, a full-service pet funeral home, in Secaucus on October 1, pet lovers in Baristaville and the greater metropolitan area now have a options for handling the death of their beloved animal companion.

The memorial center is the brainchild of Eric K. Larsen, a licensed funeral director who plies his trade on humans at the Volk Leber Funeral Home in Teaneck. Larsen wanted to do something “innovative and meaningful” in the pet funerary industry. Since 62 percent of U.S. households own a pet, and pets are perceived as members of the family, Larsen spotted a business opportunity.

At his facility, pet owners will have the ability to choose from an array of options, similar to those offered at a funeral home for people. They can choose a full-service funeral, complete with viewing, and may bring their own cleric, or Larsen can provide a licensed pet celebrant to officiate. Burial arrangements can be made at the pet cemetery of their choice.

If they prefer cremation, they may opt for individual cremation, and select an urn from the product gallery at the facility or online. Four hundred memorial products are available and on-site “community cremation” is also an option, in which case the ashes will be scattered in Pet Rest in Peace’s memory garden.

Whether one chooses burial or cremation for their pet, an online condolence page is offered for the bereaved to post photos and comments.

Larsen also has services or referrals for end-of-life care. He can put people in touch with a mobile veterinarian who offers hospice care at home. There is also a Kevorkian-like option: If a family and their veterinarian have come to the decision that a pet is suffering, and that euthanasia is the most humane alternative, they can schedule a home visit by a veterinarian affiliated with Pet Rest in Peace to do the procedure at home.

For those having great difficulty with the mourning process, Larsen offers referrals to psychologists and group therapy sessions for bereft pet owners.

Arrangements may be made by calling Pet Rest in Peace Memorial Center and Crematory at 201-770-1550, where they promise that a person will be available to answer the phone 24 hours a day. You may also request that your veterinarian call.

An alternative way to memorialize a pet could be to give a donation to an animal shelter in the animal’s memory. The Homeless Animal Adoption League of Bloomfield (HAAL) has a mural of animals playing on green pastures with a rainbow reaching into the sky. For a $50.00 donation, 100% of which goes to care for the cats at the shelter, you may have your pet’s name placed in the mural. The memorial is open to all types of pets including cats, dogs, birds, and ferrets. Please call HAAL for more information 973-429-3002.

Disclosure: Pet Rest in Peace will be carrying feline memorial boxes from my company, The Immortal Cat.

52 replies on “Funeral Home For Very Loved Pets”

  1. This is a very important service and I know of one other place in New Jersey that caters to pets–I believe in Sussex County. Don’t trust the vet to arrange for a private cremation–they all kind of go in the “dogs of the day” pile.

    Now, do we have to cremate them? Is there a pet cemetary nearby? I know they make caskets for pets. If Fido is cremated (I’m against the final flame), can he be buried with me? BTW–no plans to be cremated myself, but if I have to cremate Fido, then I want him with me. I know there are laws and regulations that vary by state. Hint: future article!

  2. /facepalm

    Anyone who uses this service should lose the right to use the phrase “in this challenging economy” and all its variations.

  3. @GenericMike

    So, what would you do with your child if they died? Human funerals can cost $18,000 – $35,000+ and a cremation–talking from experience $12,000. Yep, rent a casket for a day, say bye, bye, baby, have a mass and turn up the fryer for $15,000–and they don’t accept Americn Express!

    Your yard in Montclair is probably not big enough for the DIY Burial Project so that you can save a buck!

    BTW – the price of caskets have come down thanks to Costco and Sams seling them!

  4. I love the idea of the pet funeral home and HAAL’S Rainbow Bridge Memorial Mural. Both give the opportunity for a beautiful and a loving tribute for you your best friend.

  5. For the record, many towns have ordinances against burying animals in your yard. It’s just not sanitary. And Mike, it’s not up to us to tell other people how to spend their money. If they have it, and this is how they choose to spend it, so be it.

  6. This is a really good idea. It gives pet owners and families comfort and peace of mind. Pets are part of the family for so many. Thankfully this service is offered now.

  7. Just another absurdity added to the heap. People can spend their money as they see fit, I guess so. But my conscience keeps asking how can so many have so little yet we have pet burial services. We’re all equal but some are more equal that others.

  8. “Anyone who uses this service should lose the right to use the phrase “in this challenging economy” and all its variations.”

    I guess that means anyone driving a luxury car, and living in a oversized home with a designer kitchen, basically most of Baristaville has lost the right to use that phrase. What did I read about here a little while ago “Nanny and Me” yoga classes? Um…OK…

    Pets are an important part of some people’s lives, and the loss can be quite devastating enough without the judgmental views of those who just don’t get it.

  9. The name of this site, which gets worse with each alleged improvement, should be PETNET. The pet business described in this item is sickening and shameful in light of the number of humans who have inadequate essential resources. The wasteful use of resources by the affluent Barista crowd would justify a violent revolution. Let’s not hear any future complaints about thefts and burglaries by the deserving poor.

  10. We just buried our sweet little cat in our front yard. I suppose I was breaking some ordinance but I like to live life on the edge sometimes. I liked the idea of returning the C atoms to the earth to be used again–unsanitary my arse, that’s the point of all the decomposers. It’s the cycle of life and much cheaper. But, whatever floats your boat, I suppose.

  11. W-O-W ! I see that Jewish Cats & Dogs get off cheap!
    No Mass and No Cremation! Just a casket & they are
    “good to go!”

    I think it’s a good business, really! Dogs & Cats play a big part in many people’s lives. They cannot fathom the thought of the dearly departed animal being tossed on a heap and burned. They really DO NOT DO IT, for the pet!! They do it for themselves, for their own peace-of-mind. For Memories. The final act of love. (No, we have NO pets~but we did, many years ago. An Afghan Hound that was an award winning dog. Died at 10.
    We were all miserable and decided not to have another pet.)

  12. Tondalyo,

    If we’re going down the list of frivolous purchases, then please add my suggested waiver to all the things you listed above.

    Personally, I drove my last car into the ground before buying an off-lease Civic and have decided to keep renting until my personal finances (which took a HUGE hit in the recession) improve. So I’ll keep complaining, thank you.

    To whomever actually equated the need / expense of burying a child to doing the same for a dog: That you need the difference between the two apparently explained speaks volumes. None of it good.

  13. Mike,
    I assume you accept human death rituals, yet you find it appalling when humans apply them to other mammals?
    Pets didn’t create the economic times we live in and they certainly don’t understand the choice to discard them in favor of other questionable materialistic priorities.
    What is your dollar cutoff for what to spend on a non-human life? Do pets fall in some netherworld because they’re not human and you can’t eat them?
    Your post raises so many questions….

  14. Ipso,

    I don’t find the application of giving an animal a burial, cremation, or stuffing “appalling”. I find putting a pet on the same level as a human (especially a child) completely misguided at best and a slap in the face of any parent who has had the misfortune of burying their child at worst.

    The thought that having a lavish wake, service, and funeral for a pet while complaining that “times are tough” is a bit hypocritical. To borrow a line from your post: the pet won’t know the difference and its surviving canine / feline relatives won’t be insulted either.

    Regarding your other questions: I would never own a pet while living in an apartment. IMO, the small living space and lack of a yard is not fair to the animal. That said: If/when we do get a dog and that dog eventually dies, I would most likely have it cremated or bury it in the yard depending on various factors (age of my kid, how big our property is, etc).

    Also, my Sunday school teacher told me doggies & kitties don’t go to people heaven. Beyond that, I have no real opinion as to what happens to any of us (pet, human, or other). I figure it’ll either be a pleasant surprise or I won’t be in a position to care.

  15. People can do what they like with their own money. What I find interesting is that the disclosure is at the end of the “article” and that it’s a business in Secaucus. The Barista Net is flung wider and wider.

  16. Abbey Glen in Sussex County does the same thing and does a nice job..

    Walleroo, do you want to be buried in Liz’ yard when that final day arrives for you to crawl out from under her porch?

  17. Where did I ever say that they can’t spend their money on what they want? All I’m saying is don’t cry me a river about how “hard” it is out there while you light your Cuban cigars with hundred dollar bills (which is what this smacks of).


    I’m not following your question.

    If you want an answer from a purely theological perspective: In Genesis, God give dominion over all the animals in the world to Man. In that respect; God’s dictate to Noah can be seen as a Firefighter telling an evacuee to pack and bring the things that absolutely can’t be replaced.

    If you want the logical answer, I’ll rebut you with a question in return: What were three bears doing eating porridge and what delivery service would bring beds all the way to the middle of the woods? (Answer: It doesn’t matter because it didn’t happen.)

  18. Yes, Abbey Glen in Lafayette, NJ (www.abbeyglen.com) is wonderful! They have been around years and years. Many of the local vets in No. Jersey use them, too, but its a more personal experience going directly. One can watch the cremation, or have a funeral/burial. The cemetary is on land that can never be used for anything else. Lots of horses are put to rest at Abbey Glen They used to have an old dog that would come up to you while you were all weepy and waiting to choose a service, and he would put his head under your hand, and you would have to smile in spite of yourself. (the dog has passed on now.) The fees are the same for cremation as those a vet charges.

  19. But as someone stated above, it is part of the life cycle to return to the earth. Too many cremations for humans and pets can’t be good for the environment, regardless of religious beliefs, but this service has great importance for grieving pet owners.

  20. For many people, a pet is closest thing to a child they will ever have, through choice or just circumstance. Ask any animal lover who has lost a pet and they will tell you that the grief hurts just as much as if a beloved family member died, especially if they’ve had the pet a very long time.

  21. I’ve had dogs all of my life, and even a cat once (under protest).

    I’ve been very saddened when they died.

    But it is nowhere near the sadness one feels for a family member, and quite frankly people who make this sort of comparison baffle me.

  22. Baristagem,

    If we just burried our dead in a fashion that allowed them to “return to the Earth”, I would be in 100% agreement with you.

    However, I’m not entirely convinced that burying someone pumped full of corpse preservatives like formaldehyde is any better for the environment than cremation.

  23. To each his/her own indeed.

    I just know that if I were Mr. MM, I’d hope that a few more tears would accompany my demise than those shed for Fido.

  24. It’s a different kind of love, Cro. Can’t you figure that out? There are many different types of love: The love for a parent is differnt than the love for a child is different that the love for a significant other is different that the love for a friend is different than the love for a pet. It’s not a matter of more or less, they’re just different. But no matter, when they’re gone, it still hurts no matter who it is.

  25. Thanks for the lecture on the nature of parent-child love, MM.

    I had no idea.

    I’m quite aware of the “different” kinds of love.

    You said the grief accompanying the death of a pet “hurts just as much.”

    Again, I find that baffling. Can’t you figure that out?

  26. Shall I compare thee to a dog I spay?
    Thou art more lovely and temperate.
    Rough mutts do piss on the buds of May,
    And pet deposits add to my rent.
    Sometime too loud the howl of canines whine,
    And often is my beautiful white carpet dimmed.
    And every tree from fair declines
    By chance, or leash laws untrimmed.
    But thy mortal dog will fade,
    And thou will lose possession of the mutt thou ownest.
    Death shall brag he wanderest in His shade,
    But in eternal lines (and at the new funeral home), he growest.
    So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
    They don’t matter as much as a dog to me.

    Please contribute my $5 to PETA.

  27. If an animal who passes on is mourned by those left behind, it is a lucky animal indeed. Sadly, too many animals leave this earth unwanted and unloved.

  28. It’s asinine to think that because I love my dog, I don’t love my husband, my family or friends. The Eskimos have many words describing different types of snow; other cultures have several different words describing different types of love. Why can’t people see that?

    And yes, Nellie, that is very true. I am glad to be one of the people on this earth who is hardwired to love animals.

  29. It is a great urban legend that the Eskimos have many words for snow, or the Irish have many words for green, etc. etc.

    Even so, no one said that you can’t love your husband and your dog and for that matter your tuna casserole.

    YOU said that the death of a pet “hurts just as much” as the death of a loved one. A human loved one.

    They are YOUR words. Own them. Or don’t. But quit trying to make this about others.

  30. Here are some examples of the of the many words for snow developed by the Inuits:

    jatla: snow between your fingers or toes, or in groin-folds
    dinliltla: little balls of snow that cling to Husky fur
    sulitlana: green snow
    mentlana: pink snow
    tidtla: snow used for cleaning
    ertla: snow used by Eskimo teenagers for exquisite erotic rituals
    kriyantli: snow bricks
    hahatla: small packages of snow given as gag gifts

  31. ‘roo, its “fookin’ green”, not “f*cking green”.
    Followed by “Green, for fook’s sake”.

    Here are the English equivalents for the “Eskimo’ words:

    1. snowballs
    2. snow with green sh*t in it.
    3. snow with pink sh*t in it.
    4. snow you rub on dirt.
    5. snow that kids screw on.
    6. snow bricks.
    7. snow you give to someone.

    See http://www.mendosa.com to learn more about this “Eskimo” vocabulary.

    By the way, did you know that conservatives have 45 words for “socialist”, but they all start with “obama”.

  32. I missed the “groin folds”.
    The English version of that is, “Jaysus! I’ve got fookin’ snow in me groin folds!”

  33. Thanks for the tip, cro. I’m fookin’ remember that.

    Btw, my post elicited a warning for foul language.

  34. I have had funerals for all three of my cats who have passed away- they do it at Abbey Glen- they are very respectful there and make it very nice to say goodbye to your friend. Then you may take the ashes with you the same day or you can bury your friend in their cemetary-

    Nice that this option is a little closer to home for people in our area.

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