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10-7-19 Granite Photo Pet Memorial Marker Size Medium Beautiful Marker for Our Beautiful Girl - I wish I could show you this stone. It turned out so beautiful, it would make you cry. The engraving and placement of our girls picture is perfect. It could not be better and the stone will be placed at Bubbling Wells, a beautiful pet cemetery in Napa Ca. Thank you Steve for your help and the fast turn around time. Don and Victoria Archibald

8-26-19 Value Medium White Pet Casket My Emmy Lou is out of pain, now in heaven - I had to leave her in the Vet's freezer because I couldn't find a casket where I live. I had to go online, which I usually don't do. I found what I was looking for at Pets We Loved. Steve was great. I ordered it on Monday and it got here by Wednesday. The casket looked great and the seal tape impressed me. I wasn't able to pick her up at the Vet so my friends went to pick her up. Steve suggested the Vet could help with putting the seal tape on the casket. Cheryl Jackson

8-24-19 Deluxe Gold Large Pet Casket One Of Those Things You Wish You Never Had To Use - But when you do, you want the best for your loved family member. I didn't even take it out of the box for a few weeks because I instinctively knew the day I did I would have to use it. So I waited, hoping, praying that the situation would change. But when it didn't and my precious dog passed, I was so glad to know I was prepared. He fit into it beautifully and he looked adorable and at peace. It was well constructed and carried him from the veterinary office to the cemetery without a problem. It held up as they filled in the grave. And I rest well knowing he had a comfy place to rest in an airtight and well constructed container. It was a fair price for a good product. Delivery was overnight. What more could you possibly ask? PL Sorensen

7-28-19 Standard Blue Small Pet Casket A nice inexpensive pet casket - A great place to purchase a pet casket for your loved one , they offer speedy delivery and answer emails quickly to accommodate customers in a time of need.We will be ordering another casket when our cat spike leaves us. N/A

Pets We Loved article Fitting Farewell

Recent Article about Pets We Loved

Fitting farewell

Tyngsboro man creates caskets for pets so bereaved owners can give their beloved animals a dignified end

AUSTIN O'CONNOR, Sun Staff
Keekee sits on the coffee table at Susan Hynes' house in Chelmsford. Keekee always sits on the coffee table, even when guests are visiting. Keekee is a cat.

Well, Keekee was a cat. Keekee died of throat cancer last fall. But his death hasn't prevented him from sitting out on the coffee table. That's where Hynes keeps his ashes, in a kitty-shaped porcelain urn with his name engraved on it. "It looks like a statue," says the 49-year-old Hynes. "I love my cat and I want to keep him out. So I can leave it out and people think it's like a knick-knack. But I know better."

So does Steve Mondazzi, the Tyngsboro man who sold her the urn. Mondazzi owns and operates Pets We Loved, a home-based small business that offers customizable pet funeral products to grieving pet owners. In addition to selling the popular urns, which come in all shapes and sizes and can be made to hold everything from skunks to horses, Mondazzi also builds caskets.
The caskets run from $115 to $245, though special orders can cost more. The names are fitting, since it was Sammy and Dusty, and their untimely deaths within months of each other in 2003, that led Mondazzi to dream up the business in the first place. "I was in the middle of a long layoff," explains Mondazzi, a tech worker by trade and lifelong pet owner and lover. "And I had the idea to start something different. I really wanted to start my own business." When Sammy and Dusty died, Mondazzi put his carpentry skills to work. His family and friends were so impressed with the caskets they wondered if it might make a viable business.

A bit of research told him that there was an opportunity. Pet care is a $34 billion industry, and though there are several large companies that manufacture pet caskets, most distribute them in bulk, making customization nearly impossible and very expensive for consumers. "I figured out that I can make them myself and offer them at a reasonable price," he says. "I build them and send them off to customers myself." Mondazzi wasn't so sure when he started last year. In the fall, he took his idea to a veterinarians' show in Orlando, Fla., and pitched it to pet doctors. "A lot of vets don't really want to discuss this stuff," he says. "Some were less than thrilled. They say their job is to save pets, not to help bury them." But death is a fact of life, and Mondazzi's task has been to convince veterinarians that helping a pet owner deal with the loss of a beloved furry friend is a good way to guarantee future business. "Sometimes dealing with grief is going to be a memorable experience for pet owners," he explains. "People will get another pet, and they'll come back."

When a pet dies, the owner is ultimately responsible for the disposal of the body. Much of the time, veterinarians simply charge the owner for cremation or burial. But owners who feel a special connection to their pet often like to handle that themselves, and that's where Pets We Loved comes in. "It's amazing what people who really love their pets will do for them. They get very emotionally attached," says Mondazzi. "Some have never had children, so (the pets) are like children." "They know I make boxes for kitties and pets," he says. "Other than that, they're not sure." As for friends, Mondazzi admits he's gotten some quizzical looks. "Oh, sure," he laughs. "I talk about the business with as many people as I can. Initially, they think it's creepy. Then they start thinking about it, and it makes sense. It's something no one wants to think about until it happens."

The referrals from local vets are starting to pick up, but for now most of his sales come through his Web site, www.petsweloved.com Orders have come from as far away as California, and from Colorado, Virginia, Michigan and Arkansas, too. Talking to Mondazzi, it's easy to see that such interaction with fellow pet lovers is at least as important to him as filling the orders, which are growing by the week. "If you're not really a pet lover, you might have a hard time understanding it," he says, recalling dozens of emotional e-mails from customers. "It kind of chews you up to read what people send you or when you hear them crying. I'm like a therapist to them. My wife and I have been through it several times, so we know what it's like."

One recent week, Mondazzi got home each evening from his day job and spent most of the night in his garage, constructing caskets.
"I didn't get much sleep that week," he says. "But this is as much a labor of love as it is a business. It's just really about comforting people. When they can be comfortable with putting their pets to rest, it's something that gives them peace of mind. That's been the most rewarding part of this." Back at her home in Chelmsford, Hynes talks on the phone as Keekee sits before her, in his customary spot atop the coffee table. "I wanted him to be with me," she says of her lost friend. "And he is."