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A Pet Peeve

Speak to any pet lover and they’ll tell you they hate when pets die. Common sense may dictate that your pet will only live a short amount of time, while your emotions may say the exact opposite. Be it bird, cat, dog or another animal, nobody said coping with the loss of a pet would be easy. Your pet received nothing but the best while it was alive, now it’s time to make sure the same holds true as it passes on.

Not the Cat’s Meow

We all want to extend the lives of our pets and keep them around just a little while longer, well taxidermy may offer just that. Taxidermy is a common practice that produces a three-dimensional replica of your pet. For example, the actual skin of an animal is mounted onto a frame and sometimes the animal is reproduced using nothing but man-made materials; thus giving the preserved animal a stuffed look.

Saying goodbye to a pet is never an easy thing to do.

Saying goodbye to a pet is never an easy thing to do.

Freeze-drying is a more life-like alternative to taxidermy. How does freeze-drying work? In order to freeze-dry an animal, you place your pet in a sealed vacuum chamber at a very low temperature. Over time, frozen moisture is converted into a gas and it’s then extracted. By removing the moisture from your pet, you stop the process of decay. But, the drying process takes a considerable amount of time to achieve.

Next, we’ll discuss cryonics, which was mainly developed as a way to preserve the human body. Says the Cryonics Institute, “Cryonics is a technique designed to save lives and greatly extend lifespan.” “It involves cooling legally-dead people to liquid nitrogen temperature where physical decay essentially stops, in the hope that future technologically advanced scientific procedures will someday be able to revive them and restore them to youth and good health.” In animals, cryonics would be more effective if it were completed while an animal was still alive, because tissues and brain cells would not yet have begun to deteriorate. To have your pet cryopreserved, you must keep the body frozen from the moment of death. You also must carefully pack the body in dry ice, so it can be shipped to the Cryonics Institute in Michigan.

Note though, if you opt to cryogenically preserve your pet, you are not permitted to keep your pet’s body in your house. Why? The body must remain suspended in a tank of liquid nitrogen at the cryonics facility at a temperature of -196° Celsius.

More Traditional Methods

The International Association Of Pet Cemeteries & Crematories (IAOPCC) suggests there are many options when it comes to burying a pet: cremation, disposal service, home burial (where allowed by law) or burial in a pet cemetery.

Though this may seem a bit odd initially, its common place for pet owners to have their beloved pets cremated, according to ASPCA. What’s more, there are many places can further assist you with this, if this is your desire.

What should I know about cremating my pet? Cremation is the process of reducing matter by exposing it to intense heat. In this case, the body is reduced to skeletal remains or cremains. You must first decide whether or not you want to keep the ashes in memory of your pet. If the answer is yes, you should arrange an individual or private cremation.

By weighing your options, you can figure out the best way to memorialize your buddy.

By weighing your options, you can figure out the best way to memorialize your buddy.

If you choose to have a private cremation, your pet will be cremated alone, which guarantees that the remains returned to you are solely those of your pet. Also, organizations that offer individual cremation services will have an array of urns and keepsake options from which to choose. Such places also may offer home pickup and delivery of your pet’s remains, as part of their service packages.

Burying your pet is the next option. According to ASPCA, it can be illegal to bury an animal on public lands which include parks. However, you may be able to do so at your home location, as home burial varies depending upon the regulations in your area.

For instance, in small towns and rural areas, you can bury your pet in whatever manner best suites you; you just have to receive the property owner’s consent. And, caskets along with memorial markers usually are made available for home burial from a pet cemetery. Again, be forewarned, that the legalities of burying a pet vary greatly from location to location.

You may recall Pet Sematary as being a cult classic film, by critically acclaimed director, Stephen King. But, if you choose to bury your pet in a pet cemetery, options vary and can include private or communal burial services. Along with the previous, pricing also can widely differ depending upon your preferences.

A mausoleum burial, too, is yet another possibility for your pet. What is a mausoleum burial? This is when a casketed body is placed in a crypt. But, this service comes with a heavy price tag and is not available in every cemetery.

One Final Note

Saying goodbye to a pet is never an easy thing to do, under any circumstances. In a sense, it may have become a full-fledged member of your family, now leaving you with many memories to look back on. Nonetheless, by weighing your options, you can figure out the best way to memorialize your buddy.

Web Links:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-dogs-go-heaven/201201/would-you-your-pet-stuffed-freeze-dried-or-cryonically-preserved;

http://www.aspca.org/aspca-nyc/death-of-a-pet.aspx;

http://www.memorials.com/Rules-for-Pet-Burials-information.php;

http://www.iaopc.com/pet-owners/what-to-expect

-Kimberly Williams

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