Loading...
Off the Leash Off the Leash

The Booming Business of Pricey Pet Burials Around the World

By Nora Zelevansky

By Vetstreet Aug 16, 2012 2:53PM

Photo: John Moore, Getty ImagesFor most pet owners, a four-legged family member’s passing can be deeply distressing, so it's not surprising that many people spare no expense when it comes to memorializing their pets.

In the United States, owners have been known to host elaborate burials, shelling out for extravagant cemetery plots, private cremations, pricey caskets and even memorial “diamonds” made from pets' ashes and locks of fur.

But the trend is also happening in other parts of the globe — from Japan to the U.K., people are splurging on over-the-top goodbyes for dearly departed Fidos and Fluffys alike.

The Big Business of Pet Bereavement

For many animal lovers, letting go of a beloved companion is no longer as simple as just leaving the vet’s office with a case of the sniffles, a box of tissues in hand.

According to a recent article by Lynn Parramore, Why the Rich Are Sending Pets on a Diamond-Studded Trip to the Afterlife, the average cost of a pet funeral in America nowadays starts at $800.

And that’s at the low end.

According to stats referenced by Funeral Business Advisor, about 11.6 million dogs and cats die each year — and 50 percent of their owners opt for a private burial over the more traditional mass cremation.

In fact, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that, since 2004, more than 750 funeral homes, crematories and cemeteries specifically for pets have popped up across the nation.

Furry Companions — for All of Eternity

At Resthaven Memorial Gardens in Frederick, Md., people have had the option to bury their animals within the cemetery's "Petland" section since 1974, but the cemetery is getting ready to unveil an even more intimate offering, the Garden of Faithful

Companions, where owners can be laid to rest with their pets.

“We have seen a large increase in people wanting to see what is available, and then choosing to prearrange for their pets, just as they have for themselves,” says general manager Bill Barrett.

The price tag for these novel arrangements range from modest offerings to private family mausoleums costing upwards of $450,000.

Across the pond in the U.K., people are also demanding to spend the afterlife with their pets.

At a cemetery near Cornwall, England, more than 30 owners have already been buried beside their furry companions — and another 120 have reserved shared plots, paying as much as $5,000 for their special future resting places.

Truly Otherworldly Ceremonies

It’s in many parts of Asia that the most opulent final pet rites have come to light.

According to The Guardian, more and more people in Japan are choosing lapdogs over children — there are 22 million pets compared to only 16.6 million kids under the age of 15.

In life, these pooches are outfitted in Hermès and treated to aromatherapy massages and trips to hot springs. So when it comes to their passing, the bar is also raised in the form of deluxe Buddhist funerals that often cost $8,000-plus.

Over in China, plots for animals can come with a $5,600 price tag, according to the Want China Times.

At a pet cemetery in the eastern suburb of Xian, some 80 percent of the interred are dogs. One owner reportedly spent 4.8 million yuan — that’s $733,500! — on a fancy plot and a jade coffin for his Tibetan Mastiff.

No matter what the price, in our animal-loving minds, all dogs really do go to heaven.

Photo: John Moore, Getty Images

More from Vetstreet:
Pit Bull Goes From “Thug” to Therapy Dog
What Animals Really See in the Mirror
Why Dogs Walk in Circles Before Lying Down
6 Foods You Should Never Feed Your Pet

1Comment
Aug 16, 2012 6:09PM
avatar
No, not really, maybe some of the mausoleum ones, but pets are part of us they are our family and bring such unconditional love and joy to us and they too, deserve a proper burial.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

pics, advice, info and stories for pet lovers

  • 6 signs your home is ruled by cats (© Caroline Golon)

    6 signs your home is ruled by cats

    Take a look at your house for these telltale signs that a cat is running the show.

  • 7 signs you're ready to get a dog (© Thinkstock)

    7 signs you're ready to get a dog

    Check out this list of requirements you should meet before getting a new puppy or adult dog.

  • Oliver

    Dogs of the famous

    Much like their famous owners, these pooches live a fabulous life. Some are rescues, others purebred, but one thing is certain – these dogs play an important part in their famous parents' lives. Can you guess who owns each of these dogs?

  • Boy and dog // Boy and dog(Photo: Getty Images)

    What parents should know about pets

    Pets are part of many children's lives. Learn how to help them foster strong, healthy relationships.

  • Cats are relaxed

    14 things that cat owners know to be true

    If you live with a feline companion, you know that cats can be quirky and totally entertaining. (Even if they'd never admit it in a million, trillion years.) Here are just a few of our favorite cat-isms, some with sandpaper tongue firmly in cheek. Did we miss any of yours?

  • Tam Gock\Getty Images

    Is this sneaky ingredient sickening your pet?

    Tummy troubles in your four-legged friends? Carrageenan in their pet food may be to blame.

  • "How to Choose the Best Dog for Your Family" // A groomed poodle laying on a piece of furniture

    How to choose the best dog for your family

    There's more to choosing the perfect dog for your family than walking into a shelter and saying, "Find me one that looks like the dog from Marley and Me." Choosing a dog is more like buying a car. You want one that isn't just good looking, but is also a perfect fit for your family and lifestyle (and won't leak in the garage). Here are 8 great tips to help you determine the perfect pooch for your pack. By Jeremy Greenberg

  • Overstock.com pets

    Overstock.com launches pet adoption website

    CEO says, "it was one of the best ideas of my life"

  • 7 signs you love your dog more than your spouse (© Thinkstock)

    7 signs you love your dog more than your spouse

    Before you jump into marriage counseling, take a look at our list to see if you truly do love your dog more than your spouse.

  • 9 large breeds that are great family dogs

    Spring break: 15 cats and dogs who are having fun in the sun

    Spring break isn't just for humans anymore. Cats and dogs know how to have fun in the sun, too, and would love to tag along on your vacation. In honor of the warm and relaxing days ahead, here are 15 pets catching some rays, going on hikes and floating in the pool.

  • Keep your dog safe: Avoide these 5 common accident-related injuries (© Thinkstock)

    Keep your dog safe: Avoid these 5 common accident-related injuries

    Injuries often happen when dogs are outside chasing tennis balls or playing at dog parks. Because yours needs regular exercise, it can be difficult to protect him from many accidents.

  • 9 large breeds that are great family dogs

    9 large breeds that are great family dogs

    When searching for the right dog to add to your family, your first instinct might be to bring home a tiny little thing that your kids can cradle in their laps. But we're here to remind you that the best dog for you may be a larger breed. Big dogs like Labrador Retrievers and Saint Bernards can become a child's protector, adventure buddy and best friend. Check out this slideshow to see nine large breeds that can be good for families.

Loading...
buzzing now on msn living
Loading...
family videos
editor's pick
Loading...