Burying the body of a pet in the backyard has long been a sad ritual of childhood, but that’s changing, as some municipal areas are making the practice illegal.
“We’re such a transient society now. People don’t want seven other families’ pets in their yard,” said Timothy R. Borden, who, with his wife, Patty, founded Borden Pet Crematory & Memorial Center four years ago. “Many owners are becoming interested in pet cremation because they can take the ashes, also known as ‘cremains,’ with them whenever they move.”
The business grew out of the Borden Mortuary Group, through which Tim provides various services to the funeral industry. He is a former chairman of the British Institute of Embalmers, North America Division; and a member of the board of directors of the Cremation Association of North America.
“Tim used to take me to conventions; while he was in meetings, I’d go to sessions about pet cremation,” Patty said. “After 18 years in the health care industry, I wanted a change. We decided to open a pet funeral home with me as president.”
While growing up on a farm in Corydon, she had pets galore, including dogs (a Spitz and a poodle), guinea pigs, rabbits and squirrels. Tim owned a beloved beagle at his Scottsburg home.
Although dogs and cats are most often brought in for “death care,” the center also has handled arrangements for an owl, a pot-bellied pig, a goat, a chicken and more exotic animals – from an iguana to a llama.
Borden Pet Crematory & Memorial Center comprises offices for Patty and two full-time employees; a showroom displaying urns, caskets, jewelry and other items that can hold the cremains; and a chapel for pet funerals. The chapel has a curtained window that looks out on the cremation furnace.
“Many people want to view the cremation process, in part to ensure that it is their pet’s ashes that they’re getting back,” she said. “Some want to put their pet in or remove the ashes, but the 1,650 degree heat makes that too dangerous.”
Several cremation packages are available, with services such as pickup of the body at a veterinarian’s office or the owner’s home; a clipping of fur; a paw print on paper for framing or in clay for an ornament; a brochure about the grieving process; and a sofa throw made from a favorite photo. Items also are available for individual purchase, and are part of the reason the center is at its busiest before Christmas and Mother’s Day.
Proud that their facility is locally-owned, the Bordens make it a point to have their phones answered personally around the clock. They also insist on cremating service animals – including police dogs – for free, and donating dignified urns for their cremains.
“We do that because the dogs gave so much of themselves,” Patty said. “We know the sadness that comes with death. It can be devastating, especially when the pet is all the person had left. If we can make the grieving process easier, we’ve done our job.”
For information, visit www.bpcmc.com or phone 502.451.1480.
Category: Business Profile