«Previous    Next»
A Growing Business: Pet Memorial Services
It may seem like a risky venture to open a funeral home strictly for pets, but that's what Coleen Ellis did four years ago. Grieving from the loss of Mico, a 14-year-old dog she adopted from a shelter, Ellis decided to transfer her experience arranging funerals for people to helping people say goodbye to beloved pets.
  Ellis says she believes demand for pet funeral services will be strong in both urban and rural areas. Her first Pet Angel Memorial Center opened near Indianapolis in Carmel, Ind. The second opened in Wichita, Kansas.
  "Wichita is in a rural area of the country. It's very interesting how many farmers working with cattle dogs come to us," Ellis says. "You don't need a big city area like Chicago to offer these services."
  Ellis and her team offer a variety of services including pickup from the veterinarian office, cremation, burial service, and a host of personalized items that memorialize pets.
  "The two big comments we hear from families are that they appreciate the very respectful care of their pets. And, more importantly, we give people permission to grieve the loss of their pets," Ellis says.
  The majority of the center's clients choose to have their pets cremated, and the ashes are placed in urns. Some have said their goodbyes at home or at the vet's office. Others want to gather with friends and family for a short service at Pet Angel Memorial Center's chapel or visitation room. Usually the groups are small, but Ellis says Pet Angel once coordinated a service with 500 mourners for a police dog killed in the line of duty, complete with honor and color guards.
  Though cats and dogs are most common, the center has provided services for birds, a miniature horse, hamsters, goldfish and an iguana, for example.
  If the family chooses, the center makes arrangements for burial at home or in a community pet cemetery or provides information about freeze drying and taxidermy options.
  Ellis recently started franchising the business.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Pet Angel Memorial Center, 172 East Carmel Drive, Carmel, Ind. 46032 (317 569-6000; www. petangelmemorialcenter.com).

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
2008 - Volume #32, Issue #4