Many pet owners are now turning to cremation so they can carry their pet’s ashes with them wherever they go.
Steve and Elaine Woods, owners of A Beloved Friends Pet Crematory located at 5325 Louie Lane Suite 20 in Reno, said there are various reasons people choose cremation over burial.
“Many people choose to have their deceased pet’s urn buried in their coffin with them, or if they also want to be cremated, they prefer their pets ashes be spread with theirs,” Elaine said. “We have had two people actually bury their pets and then just hate the thought of them being in the ground, so they brought them to us.”
According to the website of the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories (IAOPCC), local ordinances determine whether pets can be buried at home.
“Cremation can be a very logical choice,” the website states. “Cremation can be a very viable option if your zoning restrictions do not allow you to bury your pet at home or if you rent or are likely to move from the property.”
“It is so important that we guarantee you will receive your pet’s ashes back,” Steve said. “It is really a driving force for people who have lost a pet to make sure they are going to get the same pet back.”
Owners have three options for cremation. They can have a private cremation, which means that only one pet is in the crematory chamber. Individual cremations are also provided, in which the pet is cremated with one or two other pets, separated by fire brick. The identification tag is readable by the end of the process to ensure no mix-ups.
The least expensive is a communal cremation for owners who do not want ashes returned to them. However, those ashes will not go to the dump, but instead be scattered in areas in Fernley or Yerington.
Cost depends on the type of cremation chosen and the weight of the animal. The pet will also be returned to the owner the same day, or within 24 hours.
“Our ultimate goal for clients who bring their pets here is to provide aftercare with dignity,” Elaine said. “Each pet we treat respectfully no matter what type of cremation they’re going to receive.”
A Beloved Friends has 64 different kinds of urns from which clients can choose. Those do not include lockets, pendants, keychains and glasswork that can contain ashes in memory of the pet. Each urn is placed in a velveteen bag with a laminated copy of the poem “Rainbow Bridge” and a packet of wildflower seeds.
The Woods have a 24-hour answering service and often meet families at the facility to receive pets in the middle of the night. Steve is the only Certified Pet Crematory Operator by Examination by IAOPCC in Northern Nevada. The Woods are both Registered Pet Funeral Directors and are working towards their goal to have their entire staff certified by the IAOPCC and the crematory company.
“We have had friends who lost their pets and didn’t have them cremated because they were afraid they wouldn’t get them back,” Steve said. “We thought it was just wrong and we wanted a business very personalized for people to get their pet back right away instead of two weeks later.”