First pet funeral home and crematory on the Coast - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

First pet funeral home and crematory on the Coast

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

By Rebecca Powers – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - An estimated 300 million Americans have a cat, dog or both. A study by the Humane Society of the U.S. says 92% of those questioned describe their pet as a child or family member.

Gulfport now has the first animal funeral home and crematory in South Mississippi for all domesticated pets called "A Pet's Memory."

"We don't have any children, no boys, no girls. That was our baby; you become attached, just like a family member."

Cindy was part of the Shehn family for 12 wonderful years.

"Well, unfortunately we lost our Cindy. She was a Shepard Border Collie."

Burying her in their backyard didn't seem like enough.

"I'd rather have her ashes than have her put in the ground, and later forgotten 'cause there's nothing more lonely or sad than an abandoned grave."

That's something Linda and Glenn Sumrall understand all too well. That's why the pet lovers opened "A Pet's Memory." It's the first full service pet funeral home and crematory on the Coast that is open to the public.

Linda Sumrall said, "We wanted to be an open door facility where people can come in and spend last dignified moments with their pet, take as much time as needed and have a final dignified moment for their pet's after care services."

Linda is also a professional at giving comfort and condolences.

Sumrall said, "After going through very intensive training, I am now certified with pet bereavement, and I now can offer them the more than the simple 'I'm sorry for your loss.' I can help them. Now that the emotions that they are experiencing are normal and can be expected."

Ed is grateful to have had this option when his pet passed away.

"It's been a long time coming a long time needed the services that Linda and Glenn give her sorely needed on the coast, especially for pet lovers."

Pet lovers who want a chance to say a proper goodbye like Ed Shehn and his wife who will never forget their beloved Cindy.

Ed sighed as he said, "She was a beautiful dog. We miss her, and I guess, like any other loss, it's going to take a while to get over it."

"A Pet's Memory" also raises money for pet oxygen masks. They've donated enough masks to be on 66 fire trucks in South Mississippi. Fire fighters say until now, they had no way to treat animals rescued from a blaze.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved

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