Pets Remembered helps families say goodbyeSkip Wyland and Carol Noren are no strangers to death. Wyland spent 30 years working as a funeral director; Noren was a pastor and hospice chaplain for 25 years.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Skip Wyland and Carol Noren are no strangers to death. Wyland spent 30 years working as a funeral director; Noren was a pastor and hospice chaplain for 25 years.
“We’ve been dealing with human death for a long time,” Noren said.
But when Wyland’s black lab Max passed away 10 years ago, the former Red Wing pair found that there just weren’t the same support services available that there are for families experiencing human death.
“There’s a tremendous need to say goodbye,” Wyland said, adding that for many people, pets are more like family members than animals.
That led Wyland and Noren to create Pets Remembered, a pet cremation service that also offers body pick-up, grief support and memorials. The business, based in New Brighton, Minn., opened last fall and serves the entire state.
What makes Pets Remembered different than cremation services offered by veterinary clinics, Wyland said, is the individual service his business offers. Pets are cremated one at a time where veterinary services may cremate multiple animals together.
Currently, Pets Remembered is able to cremate animals up to 200 pounds, which includes most companion animals. So far, Wyland and Noren say they’ve seen many dogs and cats, a few birds and the occasional alpaca.
“We don’t charge by the pound,” he said. “We feel pets are family members.”
Now, Wyland and Noren have partnered with Red Wing Pottery to provide urns for pet ashes.
“We’ve known (Red Wing Pottery owner) Scott Gillmer for a long time,” Wyland said.
“When Skip and Carol started this job, we talked about how to link our businesses,” Gillmer added. “This made a lot of sense.”
The urns, which come in a variety of sizes to accommodate large and small pets, come in either salt-glazed or stoneware finishes. Each is stamped with the Red Wing Pottery symbol and has a blue paw print design.
However, customers can also order customized urns with pets names stamped on them.
“There is the demand for this type of product,” Gillmer said.
But Pets Remembered doesn’t just provide services that deal with the pet’s body. At their New Brighton location, they also provide grief support and a place for family to gather at the time of their pet’s death.
Mahn Family Funeral Home will be providing those services locally.
“We understand that people see a pet as a family member,” Joe Mahn, of Mahn Family Funeral Home, said.
Mahn added that they are available 24 hours a day, and families can bring their pet to the their Red Wing location at 602 Plum St. They will also go out to people’s houses, he said.
“We’re a resource for any death of a family member,” Mahn said.
For every pet they cremate, Pets Remembered also offers an online obituary and a certificate of cremation. Garden markers and stones, tribute candles and keepsake jewelry, among other things, are also available.
What: Pets Remembered Cremation Service
Where: 15 SE Second Ave., New Brighton, Minn., with services available locally
Hours: 24 hours a day
Contact: 651-633-4564, www.petsrememberedcremation.com