So Fluffy's Dead...
If the pet dies at home, many people simply bury it in the backyard, which can be legal or illegal depending on the locale. If the pet dies at the vet’s office, the owner often relinquishes the body to be properly disposed of, usually by means of cremation. However, there is a third, somewhat popular option - burial in a pet cemetery.
Faithful Friends Pet Cemetery, in conjunction with Washington Memorial Park (a human cemetery), is located in Sandston, Virginia and offers all the services possibly needed to bury a beloved animal. Faithful Friends has been in existence since 1949, when Washington Memorial Park came into being. It is currently managed by Matthew Canfield who said, in reference to the animal end of the business, “We are a funeral home for pets.”
Canfield estimated the cost of the average pet burial at about $1500, though it ultimately depends on the size of the deceased. This amount includes keeping the animal in cold storage if necessary and providing a proper, sealable casket. No chemicals are put into the pets’ bodies. Memorial plaques and services are available at an extra cost. According to Canfield, a pastor is always on hand for humans and pets, and many former owners will play music and adorn the grave with flowers during the service.
Anything involving the Rainbow Bridge is bound to be after all, or so he said. Upon my inquiry as to what the Rainbow Bridge is, he informed me of this resting place for loved pets. When the owner dies, he/she and the pet will meet up in joyous reunion on the Bridge.
Faithful Friends Pet Cemetery is home to a couple hundred pets, and roughly twenty more are buried each year. According to Canfield, the pet burial business has not suffered from the slow economy, and why would it? Not that many people are going to spend thousands of dollars to bury their dog or cat, good or bad economy. For those who do, though, it is a memorable – albeit sentimental – way to properly remember Fluffy (or your hopefully more originally named pet).