As my 13 year old Maine Coon ages, I have been thinking about options for her body, once she passes away. For some reason, burying her under a tree or planting a tree on top of her just doesn’t seem to be enough. There are now more options than ever for burial or body disposal when a pet dies. These include a pet cemetery, cremation, freezing or stuffing.
Pet Cemeteries are few and far between. Generally a cemetery will also provide cremations. The International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories lists all reputable cemeteries. Cost can vary from a a mere sixty dollars for a simple plot and wood casket to as much as a thousand for a fancier casket and larger plot.
Ensure that your pet cremation provider is reliable. Pet cremation is one of the least expensive options for burial. The typical cremation service costs from $200 for a small animal to over $250 for a large dog. Crematories sell urns or vases to store ashes in. Pet owners can also purchase decorative boxes for storage of their pet’s ashes.
Stuffing, Freeze Drying and Cryonic Preservation
Psychology Today recently featured an article on less often thought of body storage options. According to the article, some people are opting for less traditional methods of preserving their pet’s body. These methods include having your pet “stuffed, freeze-dried or cryonically preserved.” Since these are less common methods and finding a provider might be difficult, costs would be quite high. Many people opt to have their pet stuffed, to preserve their likeness for eternity. Freeze drying is a less often used method. Many cryonically freeze their pet’s body, often hoping to rejuvinate the animal when a cure for a terminal illness has been found. I hate to admit that I have thought about the stuffing option for my cat. However, it brings up memories of Norman Bates stuffing his dog, so I will have to give this option careful consideration.
Mummification is the most expensive option. The pet’s body is preserved then placed in a fabricated casing made of bronze, marble or gold leaf. One website that specializes in pet mummification, quotes their prices as ranging from $4,000 to $100,000, depending on the size of the animal, method used to preserve the pet and materials used for the casing.
On second thought, maybe Cleo would find the after life comfortable and cozy under the local dog wood tree in our back yard. After all, the cost of a shovel beats the cost of any of the above methods!