A new option for grieving pet owners to put their animals at res - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

A new option for grieving pet owners to put their animals at rest

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - When a pet passes away, many view it as losing a family member. When it comes to putting them to rest, now there are more options than digging a place in your yard.

For some people, the idea of burying a pet in the backyard is inconceivable. If you move, you leave them behind. If you own an apartment, burial isn't really an option anyway.

There are places that open in Horry County specializing in pet cremation.

"Doesn't matter when you come in from a bad day," said Robin Rabin with Hillcrest Cemetery, under which Loyal Companions in Conway operates. "You know, there's your pet and they are always there for you to make you feel good and they're part of your family, and they become your family and for a pet owner to lose that, just can be devastating."

Cremation is a new option that many find comforting in their grieving process. And pet crematory's in our area give more than just a pets ashes in an urn. At places like Loyal Companions in Conway, owners get keepsakes too.

"The loss of a pet can have the same effect on you as the loss of a human, and it's important to be able to have that experience where you feel like your pet has been taken care of in a dignified way," Rabon said.

Along with the ashes, many crematory's give a lock of hair, an engraved nameplate, a copy of a paw print on paper or imprinted in clay. "That's something that you can keep forever and ever. And it just helps with that grieving process," Rabon said.

Choosing cremation gives pet owners the chance to hang on to the memories and carry their pet with them. Many, like Loyal Companions, also give pet owners the peace of mind to let their loved one rest with their most loved possessions. "We mention to them, and offer the opportunity to them to bring in certain things like blankets, or toys or things like that that they want to go with their pet," Rabin explained.

It's an option many pet owners may not even be aware of.

"We do find that a lot of times. And we hear, a lot of times they google search it and find us on Google, or maybe they find out from their vet's office that we offer this. It is a unique thing, I think, that we offer."

When it comes to price, the cost for a package that includes the cremation and some keepsakes usually starts around $160.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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