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Owners Giving Pets Elaborate Funerals

November 7, 2013

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Owners Giving Pets Elaborate Funerals

THE owners of lizards, alpacas, guinea pigs and rats are spending $1500 for pet grief specialists as mourning families do away with backyard burials for the religious traditions of a human send-off.

Animal cremation companies said the number of families giving their loved ones a “proper burial” had spiked from 10 to more than 80 a week – and some even went to the effort of half-week ceremonies.

The packages, ranging from $330 for a scatter box to $850 for the deluxe, also include cremation, urn, lock of fur, paw print, candle and a certificate.

Alison Moore, managing director at animal cremation company Pets Eternal, said: “We have Buddhist puppies that can’t be cremated for three days so they have to stay. We even have a Buddhist chanting machine with an animal prayer that plays.”

Ms Moore said another tradition, often preferred by the Japanese parents of pets, required special attention.

“They often like a full bone kept so we will stop the cremation slightly earlier so we can do that for them,” she said.

Since launching 12 years ago, the company has expanded its cremation services to cope with the 320 animals they cremate each month — with the average family spending about $400.

“I have been here for nine years and when I first took over I was doing just about everything myself, cremating 10 to 15 animals a week,” she said.

“We now see up to 80 animals a week and we have eight staff.”

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