The way people view pet cremation is changing. In the past, people buried in their beloved animals in the back yard or simply left them with their vets to handle. But these days, for many people, pets are more like family members. Georgia’s only pet funeral home, Dream Land Pet Memorial Center in Kennesaw, honors that bond by providing a dignified, loving way to say goodbye. The mission is to treat pets with care and respect while providing support and comfort to the family—just as a funeral home would for humans. Families should be assisted in a dignified and loving manner when a pet dies, with attention paid to the need for healing, special care and personal attention—things that are missing from many pet cremation services.
Dream Land is located in a cozy house at 2950 Moon Station Road in the Historic District of Kennesaw. The house is also known as the Old C.N. Price Home, originally constructed in 1885. In late 2006, the Marcy family converted the Price Home into the first pet funeral home in Cobb County and Georgia.
The need for care starts immediately when a family loses a pet. In the event that a pet dies at home, Dream Land staff members make “house calls, ” picking up the pet and providing face-to-face service and special attention. Families also can set appointments for Dream Land to pick up their pets at the time of euthanization. The pet is gently wrapped in his or her favorite blanket, rather than being placed in a plastic bag.
Pets are cremated individually—never with other pets—and families receive the ashes as quickly as possible. Each family receives a ceramic paw print impression, a fur clipping and a wooden box for the pets ashes. A wide selection of cremation urns is available for those who want something special. Grief information is provided for every family, as well as other special items, such as wildflower seeds that a family can plant in memory of their beloved pet.
The pain of losing a pet doesn’t go away overnight, so staff is available for families whenever needed. They are committed to each family’s healing, and available around the clock to assist before and after a pet death occurs. People often say they would not have gotten through this time without Dream Land, and if they have lost a pet in the past, they say they wish the service had been around to help them when they needed it.
Counselor Kyla Nelson offers grief care services and support through Dream Land. She has experience counseling people as they grieve human loved ones, and now helps people cope with the deaths of their furry family members. “Effective grief is not done alone, and it should never be kept private,” Nelson says. “Only recently have researchers come to realize that pets may be considered a loved one and a family member. Missing a pet you’ve loved is a tribute to that pet, and to its influence in your life.”
New Dream Land locations are now planned for Forsyth and Gwinnett counties, with more expansion planned. But care is being taken to ensure that the dedication to serving families in a compassionate and caring manner is not lost as Dream Land grows.
About the Author: Kevin and Gina Marcy are the owners and founders of Dream Land Pet Memorial Center. Kevin is a fifth-generation licensed funeral director who has spent most of his life in or around funeral service. His father and sister still operate Marcy Funeral Home, in Ohio. For more information, contact Dream Land Pet Memorial Center, (678) 594-0041, www.dreamlandpetcremation.com.