Memorial Pet Cremation Urns for Large and Small Animals
Photo: "Sahira" by Andrea and Stefan
A family pet, often thought of as a dog or cat, can also include a horse, bird or even a hamster or snake. Pet memorial services offer a dignified way to honor the beloved pet. Another option is to keep the pet’s ash remains (cremains) in a notable animal urn for ashes or memorial keepsake.
Pet cremation services
Many pet owner aren't aware that when an animal is cremated, it's often with other animals. You can request an individual cremation for your animal. Following the cremation, pet owners can be assured they are getting the cremains of their pet and not someone else's pet.
Many veterinary clinics contract with third party cremation services that provide individual cremation. Since many crematories can cremate multiple pets at once, it’s important to check. Let your provider know of your wishes for individual cremation. Contact the Better Business Bureau or local veterinarians as a starting point to find pet cremation services that treat our animal friends with the dignity they deserve.
The cost of cremation for a pet varies on its weight and size. The cost for smaller animals, such as a hamster or bird, can be between $55 and $100. The cost for larger animals, such as a horse, ranges from approximately $300 to $1,300 for private.
I had the opportunity to grow up on a horse ranch ten minutes south of Las Vegas, Nevada. The ranch was home to thirty Arabian horses, boarded and trained for competition. I witnessed many dedicated horse owners care for their animals they considered an important part of the family.
When a horse died on the ranch, I can’t recall a time when its owner did not grieve the loss. It was comforting to the bereaved when fellow horse owners shared in their grief.
Our family attended a small memorial service for Sammy – he was a champion Arabian. His proud owner, Mary, made the difficult decision to "put down" (euthanize) her beloved horse after he was severely injured.
To honor Sammy, Mary arranged a memorial. In front of Sammy's stall was a table beautifully arranged with championship ribbons she won at horse shows, her leather saddle and pictures of her beautiful Arabian companion and champion. The table's centerpiece was a wood photo pet urn for ashes. The urn displayed a picture of Sammy winning a 1st place ribbon with his proud owner at his side. Engraved at the base of the urn were these words of remembrance, "A champion forever.” Mary permanently displayed Sammy's pet urn for ashes on her fireplace mantle to always keep her dear animal family member near to her heart.
The demand for state-of-the-art equine crematoriums is increasing in response to the desire for a horse to be given the dignity of individual cremation. Craig Road Pet Cemetery in Las Vegas is a family-owned cemetery. The owners understand the unique bond between a pet and owner. Their cost for horse cremation is $1,300 for private cremations and $300 for a general horse cremation.
Selecting a pet cremation urn for ashes
A pet cremation urn or a memorial keepsake can stimulate cherished memories. Pet urns for ashes and pet memorial keepsakes are available in an array of designs to reflect the loving personality of the deceased. The size of the urn needed will depend on the weight of the animal. Petite, small, medium, large, and extra-large pet cremation urns are available.
These pet memorials range in price depending on size and material. For a parakeet or hamster, a small crafted ceramic urn can make for an affordable memorial. Pet cremains can also be scattered in a place of significance. A portion of the ashes can be retained to put in a keepsake or a piece of pet jewelry for ashes.
Placing our pet's cremains in a biodegradable urn allows the cremains to return to the soil as the urn naturally breaks down in the elements. On our human site, many biodegradable urns are available that are suitable for pets. Some are made with the purpose of planting with seeds. This allows a memorial tree to take root and grow where the much-loved companion can be remembered.
Whether the pet was big or small doesn’t matter. What matters most is the unconditional love and loyalty they freely gave. This is what pet owners long to remember and never forget.
John Michael Stuart, MSW has been a social worker since 1997. He has worked in nursing home, hospice and home health settings, including one of the nation's largest Social HMO demonstration projects where he coordinated care between physicians, patients and their families. John has had cerebral palsy since birth and has authored Perfect Circles, Redefining Perfection. He is also a public speaker and currently works as a home health social worker in Las Vegas.