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.