Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Is your pet your child?

Ross Darby,
Director of Business Development at Trigard Memorials

I recently went to the PLPA College (Pet Loss Professionals Alliance) and I gained a new appreciation for how we memorialize pets. Memorializing pets is not new to me. My wife (pictured right) is in charge of the pet division at Sunset Memorial Park. She shares stories of families who will spend the extra dollar when it comes to memorializing their pet.

First, I needed to get a better understanding of what a “pet” is. A “pet” to me it is either a dog or a cat. Boy was I wrong! My wife helped a family who established a very high budget to celebrate a beloved rabbit. There was a full service and was no expense spared on the memorial. This caused me to re-think how I view pets and the grieving needs of the humans who love them. People all over the world have different types of furry, scaled, and feathered friends, and we in the death care profession must be able to meet all of their wants when it comes to memorialization.

Until recently, my experience in the pet market has been working with bronze memorials. I learned that pet memorials tend to be the most unique. Families love that we, at Trigard Memorials, can give them a 3D-relief bronze memorial AND add color to it. To these families, that kind of marker is a no brainer.

If you have a pet section in your cemetery, we offer beautiful pet markers that are attached to granite. We also create photo medallions in bronze that can be easily attached to existing granite or bronze memorials. (This is ideal for families who want to enhance what they already have.) If you have a niche unit for cremated animals, we provide fully customizable niche plates. We also offer personalized urns for the families that wish to take their beloved pet home with them.

If you do not have a pet section in your cemetery, it is usually easy to find unused space that you can turn into revenue for your business. If pet cremation is the only means of disposition that you offer, then Trigard’s urns or medallions are a nice personalized product to offer a family. Even if price is leading your families to choose cremation, we still find great value in the memorialization piece of the sale.

The pet market is relatively new to most of us, but I truly believe it is being under served and underutilized. There are opportunities everywhere! Families are beginning to realized that last visit to the vet office is not the last memory they want to have of their pet. That is where our industry needs to step in and use our expertise to provide healthy healing and closure our customers are seeking.

This article originally appeared in Modern Memorialization, Trigard Memorials' weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/thursdays.

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