FDChat #04 – Pet Loss with Thomas A. Parmalee

FDChat #04 – Pet Loss with Thomas A. Parmalee

with nancy


Nancy Burban and Thomas A. Parmalee discuss how providing funeral services for pets will impact your funeral home. The expansion of the pet funeral industry, preneed pet arrangements and the high level of dignity in memorializing a pet are also talked about.

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Show Notes

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Interview Excerpt:

Nancy:  How are the National Death Care Associations, like the NFDA and the ICCFA, how are they responding to this growing niche in death care?

Thomas:  The ICCFA just created a subdivision of its association called the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance, and that's actually headed by Coleen, who I just mentioned.. and Bill Remkus is also helping out with that as well. The NFDA, it has regular sessions, and webinars, and that type of thing about how to get involved in this.

And then CANA, the Cremation Association of North America recently announced a partnership with the International Association of Pet Cemeteries, and they are now going to be working together to try to bring forth this mission to a larger audience and to try to get the word out as to how to best serve pet owners and that kind of thing.

Regardless of what association you're allied with, what group you feel most comfortable working with, the point is, is that there are a number of death care associations getting involved with this. There's a number of resources out there where people can go to for information.

One is not necessarily better than the other, but just find a group that you're comfortable working with and seek them out for information.

Nancy:  Do you see any obstacles or any push‑back to funeral homes for other death care professionals who are serving pets?

Thomas:  There is. There are some funeral homes that really don't want to get involved in this, and that's not necessarily a wrong thing. As I said before, it might be based on your market, on your business, on your community. But some people really feel like it would almost denigrate their existing human business if they were to start serving pets, because they feel like that would be putting pets on a par with people and they feel like that would be a bad thing, that that's not something they really want to promote.

Pet Services Transcript

Leave a Comment

  • Steven I. Ciccarelli

    Disgusting………….another way to increase profits. Young funeral directors don’t know how to embalm properly, layout a body, or even converse intelligently. Now they’re going to expand into funerals for pets. I’m abhorred by the thought!

  • Mark Krause

    This comment sounds just like those that said the motorized hearse would be the downfall of funeral service. Too bad.

  • http://www.matthewscremation.com/ Matthews Cremation

    Families often have extensive support networks to call upon when a friend or relative dies, but the death of a pet often leaves issues – and grief – unresolved. Pets are a very big part of family life and helping pet owners to deal with their loss is something, as industry professionals, would be remiss to ignore.

    Awhile back, Matthews Cremation Division did some market reseach on this topic. In our research, when we asked consumers, “Where would you go for help with the death of a family pet?” It was amazing to see how much uncertainty they felt. We thought we would hear nothing but stories about the loving, support of their Pet Care provider, but, surprisingly, we didn’t.

    People often marginize the loss of a pet thinking “What’s the big deal, you can go to the pound and pick out another one”. Most any pet owner will tell you that is not the case. There is a HUGE need for someone to properly memorialize their pets. Funeral directors should realize that the other funeral director down the street who takes care of pets will end up with the owners “people” busines as well.

  • http://www.celebrationofalifetime.com/ Ruthann Disotell

    Funeral Directors have always cared for the bereaved by caring for their deceased loved ones. While this avenue is a side road to the one we have always traveled, there is no doubt the grief is as intense for the one who offered unconditional love.
    Adapting to this need is something to be looked at. The long-term relationship it affords is only a benefit to the confidence that a family would have in calling on you at the time of death for a parent or spouse. Maintaining dignity to the human clientele seems to be the key to making this a successful proposition.

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