Services for Saying Goodbye
While city services, ACC and Pet Cremation deal with deceased animals, many vets across the city offer the option of euthanasia for sick pets, and carry out cremation services too.
Elizabeth Bukharie, for example, chose to have her dog Houdini, who died last year, euthanized and cremated at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center, the world’s largest nonprofit animal medical center, on East 62nd Street in Manhattan.
“We chose to have him cremated, and for them to take care of the ashes,” Bukharie said.
After he died, Houdini’s ashes were scattered at the Final Gift memorial site in Clifton, New Jersey. The whole service cost around $800, but Bukharie said the most valuable part of the process has been the support she was offered afterward.
The medical center had support group meetings every month for those who have lost pets. Bukharie said it has been incredibly helpful for her and her husband to speak with those who were going through a similar experience.
“We don’t have any children,” Bukharie said. “Houdini was like our child.”
As an alternative, there are also companies that provide at-home services where your pet can have their final moments in the home alongside you.
This is the route that Caley Clocksin chose to take after realizing it was time for her mixed-breed dog, Jack, to be put down. Clocksin chose an at-home euthanasia and cremation service through Paws At Peace, which offered a flat cost for euthanasia with communal cremation costing around $200 and private cremation for $350.
“It’s kind of weird having to make a financial decision at that time, but we opted to do the individual cremation,” she said.
“Having to deal with all these logistics in a very emotional time was tough. So I definitely wish I kind of looked into it sooner,” she added.
Nicole Greevy also opted for an at-home euthanization and cremation service for her family’s pit bull Ripley, named after the character in the Alien movie franchise. For Greevy, having Ripley’s final moments at home last fall was very important.
“In the city, having the opportunity for someone to come to you so that the animal can die in familiar surroundings, I thought was an incredible gift,” she said.
The vet from Pet Requiem, the service Greevy and her husband chose to use, came to Greevy’s home. Once Ripley had been euthanized by lethal injection, Pet Requiem gathered the dog into a bag and took her away for cremation. A few weeks later, the vet returned Ripley’s ashes in a little box, which Greevy said was more for her 12-year-old son than for her or her husband.
The whole process cost around $1,000, but she and her husband agreed they do not regret it at all.
“It’s one of the largest payments I’ve made all at once,” said Greevy. “I didn’t begrudge a single penny of it.”