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Local pet cemetery offers solace to grieving families

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Before leaving the house everyday, 63-year-old Marie Nock smiles as she walks past the picture frame holding the beloved photo of Peaches; her Pomeranian and Collie mixed pup which reminds her of all the good times they shared together.

On one occasion Peaches saved Marie’s life. Marie had fainted due to a heart condition while at home. At the time Marie was by herself with Peaches and the dog found a way to bark loud enough to alert neighbors and family members living on the same street. The Paramedics told Marie that if it was not for Peaches licking and scratching her in the face to keep her conscious, she would have eventually passed.

On Mother’s Day of 2009, Peaches passed away at the age of 105 in dog years  (15 human years) and was cremated at the Pet Meadows Memorial Park and Crematorium off of Klockner Road in Hamilton Township.

After a short moment of silence in deep reverie of her furry companion of fifteen years, Marie began to discuss her choice to use a pet cemetery for Peaches:  “Pet Meadows was very caring towards the whole situation and my family.” She also said that she had stayed there along with immediate family members prior to the cremation for several hours to say their final ‘goodbyes’.

Pet Meadow Memorial Park has over 9 decades of experience with grievance and the loss of family pets.

According to Debra Bojorling the director of Pet Meadows Memorial Park and Crematorium, “The cemetery has been around since 1921, and my mother and her sister Linda Makkay brought it in 1998 and it has been a family business ever since.”

There is evidence that displays the Memorial Park and Crematorium’s rich history with a tombstone titled “Beauty” which has been there since the early 1920s.

In addition to the older burials there is also a special section of Pet Meadows that is dedicated to service animals such as dogs who work with police K-9 units. Some of these animals have been lost in the line of duty.

Bojorling describes her job saying, “[It] is rewarding when helping families get through the loss of their pets, along with offering ways to remember their pet’s memory.”

The six acre resting site also includes an on site crematory, a viewing room, and private burial upon request. There are also poems that are available within the viewing room that can be used during the eulogy of the private burial service.

Expenses for funeral services can include a customized casket, head stone, preparations of the remains and other arrangements such as flowers or private burial services.

When asked what was the most that a customer spent on their beloved pet’s funeral arrangement at Pet Meadows Bojorling said it was approximately 4,000 dollars.

Pet Meadows offers contacts for pet bereavement counseling, along with various books such as “The Loss of a Pet: A New Revised Edition,” by Wallace Sife , Ph.D.

On the website for Pet Meadows there is a link that allows clients to leave a memorial comment about their pet. One typical note reads, “Dear Psycho I miss you very much, when everyone would leave to go to work everyday you would come in by me cause you didn’t like to be alone. I still look for you and I miss talking to you during the day. I feel alone without you and I miss you so very much. –Grandma, the Roa Family”

There are currently fifteen different Pet Cemeteries within the state of New Jersey, however, Pet Meadows is the oldest known pet cemetery in the state.

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