When my pet dies, what are my options?

Many times, the loss of a pet comes as a shock to those who have shared in its life. A loss this significant can be one of the most devastating experiences we encounter in our lives, even as devastating as the loss of a close human family member.

Notoriously, society has not allowed us to grieve for the loss of a pet in the same way that we have been allowed to grieve other significant losses in our lives.

Today, however, that trend is changing and society is more aware of the strong bonds between humans and their pets. Now, more than ever, people experiencing the loss of a pet have many options available for disposition and commemorating the pet’s life.

The decision you make regarding the final disposition of your pet’s earthly remains can have a profound effect on the way in which your family deals with the loss.

It is very important that you and your family think about and discuss the final disposition of your pet so that when the time comes and disposition is complete, you will have no regrets.

Certified Private Pet Cremation™

Certified Private Pet Cremation™ is defined as "One companion animal placed into the cremation chamber" at a time. After the cremation is completed, the cremated remains are completely removed and the cremation chamber is cleaned before another cremation can begin. The cremation time can range from 1 hour to 3 hours depending upon the size of the pet. This type of cremation is provided by the Companion Animal Cremation Service. The telephone number is 1-877-738-2736.

Private Cremation Full Disclosure Agreement (pdf).

Certified Memorial Pet Cremation™

For families who do not feel the need to do a private cremation, PA State Pet Memorial & Cemetery offers an alternative that is equally dignified and is handled with the utmost of integrity and respect.

The Certified Memorial Pet Cremation™ is defined as multiple pets (maximum of 5) in the crematory chamber at the same time. With this process, there WILL BE co-mingling of cremains. For this reason, no cremains can be returned to the family. All pet’s cremated remains will be interred in a memorialization column located at the PA State Pet Memorial.

This type of cremation is offered for pet owner families who want to know their beloved pet was handled with respect and dignity but at a significantly less cost than a private cremation and to a much higher standard and integrity than cremation disposal services offered by many local animal hospitals.

With a Certified Memorial Pet Cremation™, you will know exactly where your pet’s cremains have been interred and you are invited to visit at any time. You may also want to place a memorial nameplate or memorial photo plate to pay tribute to your pet on the memorial column in which your pet’s cremains are interred.

Certified Memorial Pet Cremation™ Full Disclosure Agreement (pdf)

Certified Memorial Pet Cremation™ option includes:

  • Pick up of your pet within four hours of authorization by you from either the home or animal hospital.
  • The memorialization cremation will be performed within 48 hours.
  • Cremains are interred in a memorial column located at the PA State Pet Memorial.
  • You will receive a certificate of cremation with number and location of the column that cremains are placed in.
  • A nameplate will be placed on the front of the column to memorialize your pet or an optional photo plate can be purchased.
  • You will receive two special poems, the "Saying Goodbye with Dignity" booklet, and an invitation to the Pet Loss Support Group.

Memorial Cremation Preplanning

We highly recommend clients who would like to have their pet memorialized at the PA State Pet Memorial & Cemetery set up an appointment to make arrangements for all details so when the need for this service arises, all important details have been pre-arranged.

To set up a preplanning appointment, please call 1-877-738-3863 or (717) 691-0880.  E-mail us through our Contact Us page or preplan online.

Veterinary cremation/disposal service

When an animal dies, or is euthanized, someone must decide what to do with its earthly remains. Although the pet owner should make this decision, often times it is left to the veterinarian to make the disposition arrangements. A distraught pet owner struggling to cope with the trauma of the loss is not in the best position to ask intelligent questions and make an informed, well, thought out choice about body care. Although ethically obligated to answer all of your questions, most veterinarians do not have the training, facilities, or time to provide sensitive after death pet care advice.

And when the time comes, if you have not already made arrangements or do not ask the proper questions and receive satisfactory answers, your pet’s body may be disposed of in a manner that is unacceptable to you.

So before electing to leave your pet’s body at your veterinarian and allowing them to arrange the service, make sure you know exactly how the service is provided. See

Veterinarian Arranged Private Cremation Full Disclosure Agreement (pdf)

Veterinarian Arranged Communal/Disposal Cremation Full Disclosure Agreement (pdf)

© PA State Pet Memorial & Cemetery
210 Andersontown Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
(717) 691-0880