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7-8-18 Cat Silhouette Pet Memorial Marker I have been using Pets We Loved Markers for a couple of years and have always been pleased with the quality and designs. They are highly acclaimed by all who see them. Francesca Poisson

6-19-18 Value Medium White Pet Casket I lost my precious Misty suddenly on 6/10 and had to purchase a coffin for her. The service was wonderful--it was here in 3 days and it is beautiful. It seals beautifully and is a real tribute to her short 5 years with me. Thank you for providing this product. Diane Alberigi

6-6-18 20 Deluxe Pet Casket Size Small We love our pets, and have a pet cemetery on our property. When we lose one, it's like losing a close friend. I loved this little casket for my 15 year old chihuahua friend, Jose. I loved the covered bed, pillow, and an additional pretty coverlet to cover him after we said goodbye. It shipped quickly as we were approaching the last days. Good product, good company. Nancy Bertine

5-21-18 Cat Mini Arch Pet Memorial Marker This is the 5th Memorial I have ordered. It arrived on time, within budget and the company emailed me letting me know that the order had been received, shipped and delivered. The prices are extremely good and the product is excellent. Jacquelyne Hill

4-23-18 VIP Pet Casket Pink or Blue size Medium We ordered this casket for our sweet baby fur daughter last Saturday- she passed away last Monday. We ordered it the Saturday before because we knew it was not long before she passed. This casket came in perfect condition and was absolutely wonderful. It was beautiful, well-made, sturdy, and beyond perfect for our darling little puppy angel. I was so proud of it. Thank you for the time and the thoughtfulness that you put into it- We do not have children and so our fur babies are our life. It was heartbreaking but your casket helped with some of the pain. I highly recommend. Love you all. Michelle

Pets We Loved article Farewell to Best Friends

Recent Article about Pet Loss and Pets We Loved

Farewell to Man's Best Friends
Pet burials, cremations on rise as families honor their memories
By Rita Savard, 09/08/2008 DT


CHELMSFORD -- Jeff Hardy first saw the squirming bundle in his 8-year-old daughter's arms.

"Uh-oh," he thought.

But there they were. Sarah and the puppy. Staring with big eyes.

"We named him Bongo," Hardy says.

For the next 14 years, Bongo was a regular fixture in Hardy's life. At home. At the office. At the end of a bad day, Bongo would sit by Hardy and offer a paw.

Through Christmases and birthdays, through Sarah's high-school graduation, Bongo became more than a dog. He was family. When Bongo's muzzle turned gray and his legs too shaky to walk the stairs, Hardy built a ramp outside his house.

Then the day came when Bongo couldn't get up anymore. Hardy carefully put his best friend in the car and drove to the vet.

"His body was broken down, but there was still life in his eyes," Hardy says. "It was the hardest thing I ever had to do."

Since Bongo died in February, Hardy has laid the dog to rest in a concrete burial vault and is still at work designing an elaborate memorial plaque.

Industry experts say actions like his are part of a rising trend in the pet-burial business, as more people choose to give humanlike memorials to deceased pets.

That's what Steven and Kathleen Mondazzi wanted when their cat, Sammy, died. But when the Tyngsboro couple went online to find a casket, Steven says, "We couldn't find anything nice."

Mondazzi, who is skilled at making furniture, went into his garage and made a casket of his own. Soon, he started making them for family and friends' pets.
"They kept getting nicer and nicer each time," Mondazzi says.

In 2003, the Mondazzis decided to turn it into a business. Since then, their online store, PetsWeLoved.com, has grown 50 percent each year, selling caskets, pet urns and cremation jewelry.

"People continue to spend a significant amount of money on their pets," Mondazzi says. "But you have to understand that a pet is really more of a family member to most pet owners. They want to take care of them in death just as well as they did when they were with them in life."

In Tyngsboro, more than 1,000 animals -- including a donkey -- are buried at Pet's Heaven cemetery.

A basic burial package costs about $650, which includes a plot, grave marker, casket and any body storage or vet pick-up.

Owner Bob Cornwell, who lives in Florida, operates the business his parents first began in 1972. Cornwell's father's ashes are buried next to the family's pets in the cemetery.

Pet owners frequently visit the cemetery, leaving flowers, ceramic dogs and cats, and even plastic Santa Clauses during the holiday season.

In 2006, Westlawn Cemetery in Littleton carved out a parcel of land just for pets. Charlotte's Garden, separate from the rest of the cemetery on King Street, was named after resident Charlotte Hartwell, who has two of her own dogs buried there.

But it's not just pet cemeteries that are filling up. Fueled by soaring real-estate prices, increasing transiency of populations and the growing importance of pets in people's lives, pet cremation is also on the rise.

The Cremation Association of North America, an organization originally formed for those dealing with human remains, now counts among its 1,400-strong membership several funeral homes that handle pet cremations.

"The national cremation rate for humans is about 37 percent," says Mike Nicodemus, a vice president at the CANA. "At least 70 percent of folks who have pets are cremating them after they die."

While Nicodemus says some people might have a tendency to think pet cremation sounds strange, giving a pet a proper sendoff helps humans through the grieving process.

"Some people are always going to say, 'It's just a pet, get over it,'" he says. "But pets are in their owners' lives every day for many years, so losing them causes a big impact."

Hardy knows all too well. The Chelmsford resident's family-owned business, Hardy Doric Inc., specializes in burial vaults, urns and memorial plaques.

Hardy is now looking to expand the family business to service the needs of people grieving over lost pets. Bongo, the shepherd/husky "mutt," will become the face to market Hardy's pet memorials.

It's only fitting, Hardy says, adding that a row of popped basketballs and chewed up rawhide workmen's gloves still hint of Bongo's healthier days at the Chelmsford plant.

"When you lose a pet and you come home to that empty house, there's a big piece of your life missing," Hardy says. "If we can help somebody honor their pet's memory, then that's a good thing."