Pet Memorials: A Final Pilgrimage, Resting Place for Charlotte's Pets

Pet Memorials: A Final Pilgrimage, Resting Place for Charlotte's Pets

Pets often hold a special place in our lives and our families, so when beloved animals leave us, it’s natural to want to acknowledge their impact with pet memorials.

As a pet lover, Mike Cook understands the importance of goodbyes and remembrances well. His family operates highly rated Cavin-Cook Funeral Home & Crematory in Mooresville, North Carolina.

Cook works with his father to help other pet owners through the loss of family pets at Pet Pilgrimage, a division of Cavin-Cook. “It’s important for people to have a way to remember loved ones,” he says.

Pet memorial choices

Pet Pilgrimage offers that comfort from the moment a pet has passed. Cook and his staff will pick up animals that have died at a home or veterinarian’s office, then carry out the pet on a tasteful gurney with an angel blanket.

They are part of a growing industry of pet-memorial companies that give pet owners new choices about how to memorialize their furry family members and give their pets a final resting place.

Cavin-Cook staffers can photograph an animal’s paws and nose, and press the paws into clay to create a memorial keepsake.

The company also offers a viewing room for family members of the pet, as well as pet cremation and memorial services and a selection of urns for the pet's ashes.

The pet memorial services are not limited to dogs and cats, either. Cook and the Pet Pilgrimage staff have helped families after the death of hamsters, birds and fish, too.

Charlotte pet burial laws

If you prefer a quiet ceremony for pets who have died at home, the city of Charlotte allows backyard pet burials. Owners should bury pets within 24 hours of learning of their death. Animals must be buried at least 3 feet underground — 4 feet for larger animals — and not closer than 300 feet to any flowing stream or public body of water.

The Humane Society recommends putting the pet's body in a heavy duty plastic bag before closing it securely in a wood or metal box.

The city also will collect animals, if requested.

Wherever their remains lie, pets can be remembered on National Pet Memorial Day, marked each September. Cook offers pet owners a chance to gather with each other to honor their animals with an annual Pet Life Celebration to mark the occasion. People are invited to light luminaries and make a donation to the Humane Society of Iredell County.

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