NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — The loss of a pet can be a devastating experience, and a rising number of people are treating that loss the same way that they would treat the death of any other family member.
David Le told CBS 2′s Kristine Johnson that his dog was treated like a member of his family for her entire life.
“I miss her so much, she was my best friend. She always slept with me,” he said. “She was a daughter to me.”
Le is giving his French Bulldog Zoey the same attention in death that she gave him in life. He told CBS 2 that a backyard burial wouldn’t be good enough for her.
Zoey received a sendoff complete with a casket, mourners, flowers, and a graveside service.
Full-fledged pet funerals like Zoey’s are gaining popularity, according to pet loss workers.
“In one year’s time we have increased our business here over nine-hundred percent,” said Lisa West of the Pet Loss Center.
At Lisa West’s Pet Loss Center, grief counselors guide the bereaved through the process of making arrangements for their deceased pets.
Open casket viewings, burials, cremation and even religious beliefs are all included as a way to add a personal touch.
“People love their pets and they really want to take care of them through their life process,” said West.
Bereaved pet owners are often willing to pay high prices to say goodbye to their animals.
Maira Elena Lovell has spent nearly $7,000 on funerals for her dogs.
“They deserve to live and die with dignity,” she said.
Lovell wants to visit her dogs the same way she would visit any relative who has passed away.
Le told CBS 2 that spending $2,000 on a dog funeral may seem excessive to some people, but for him, it has provided closure.
“The only way I could be peaceful from it was to have a proper burial,” he said.
Bereaved pet owners who are willing to pay such high prices to say goodbye to their loved ones may also want the peace-of-mind to know that they are dealing with a reputable broker.
The Association For Pet Loss And Bereavement helps pet owners make sure that the company they are dealing with is a certified group.
Would you hold a funeral for your pet? Let us know in our comments section below…