STERLING, VA (August 28, 2012)–The Pet Loss Professionals Alliance and its members will celebrate National Pet Memorial Day on Sunday, September 9, 2012. The objectives are to appreciate the strong bond between pets and owners, educate people about the grief process that occurs when a beloved pet dies and increase awareness of the many options available to memorialize pets who have passed away.
PLPA members around the country will commemorate the day by holding memorial services, pet blessings, candlelight vigils and other events in their community. The general public may visit www.iccfa.com/national-pet-memorial-day
to find a list of events being held near them, post an online memorial for deceased pets, view a list of ways to remember past pets and search for pet loss professionals in their area.
The holiday was originally created in 1972 by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries in recognition of the importance of remembering beloved lost pets. The day is always celebrated on the second Sunday in September.
“It’s incredibly important for people to grieve whatever loss they may experience in their lives,” said Coleen Ellis, PLPA co-chair and president of Two Hearts Pet Loss Center in Greenwood, Ind. “Pets are a part of the modern family and are sometimes the only ‘children’ a ‘pet parent’ may have in their lives. We want to assist them in expressing their love, accepting their grief and remembering these family members in a meaningful way.”
On National Pet Memorial Day, Ellis will discuss bereavement and memorialization of pets at a seminar sponsored by Homesteaders Life Company at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Des Moines, Iowa, titled “Preparing to Say Goodbye: Understanding Pet Loss and Grief.”
Graham Cook, chairman and president of Homesteaders Life Company, said that traditional funeral homes and cemeteries are finally beginning to understand the significance and need to help people to express grief for pets.
“The purpose for our involvement is to learn more about what families are searching for in creating meaningful end-of-life care opportunities for their pets as well as what families are seeking in terms of memorial options,” Cook said. “National Pet Memorial Day is the perfect opportunity for us to do it.”
Founded in 2009, the PLPA has 255 members worldwide and is dedicated to providing education and opportunities for professional growth for providers of pet-related death care services. It is a committee of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association.
Founded in 1887, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association is the only international trade association representing all segments of the cemetery, cremation, funeral and memorialization industry. Its membership is composed of more than 7,500 cemeteries, funeral homes, crematories, memorial designers and related businesses worldwide.