Scott Schmidt, the Man Who Handles Final Arrangements for Pets
Heart In Diamond had the privilege to interview Scott M. Schmidt, CFSP/President of Pets in Peaceful Rest, LLC. Scott runs a unique and heartfelt business that assists pet owners in making the final arrangements for their lost furry family members once they have crossed the rainbow bridge.
Pets in Peaceful Rest, LLC. offers pet cremation and memorial products. Other services they provide include memorial services, pet transportation from home to the pet hospital or to their pet funeral home, as well as other final arrangements for pets. Pets in Peaceful Rest serves the Niagara, Orleans, Erie and Genesee counties in New York.
Of All Qualities a Company Like this Can Possess, Honesty is Most Important
We asked Scott what he thought the most important quality for a company that makes final arrangements for beloved pets to have. His answer? Honesty.
Scott elaborates on the importance of this quality by describing how other services handle the identification and transportation of euthanized pets. He explains that most veterinarians use a disposal service which picks up the euthanized animals from their clinic. This ‘pick-up’ is done most often on a weekly basis and sometimes, bi-weekly. According to Scott:
“The euthanized pets are literally placed in a freezer until then. Your pet is frozen solid while waiting to be taken to the disposal service’s place of cremation. Once there, the frozen animals are place in the cremation chamber. Even if you chose a private cremation, in the industry, that is generally with other pets if you want the cremated remains back. Most clinics or animal hospitals don’t use a true identification system to track your pet through the process. This is unfortunate as you don’t know definitively whether the remains you receive are truly your pet’s.”
In addition to the fact that you may not even receive the remains from your actual pet, another issue is that in most areas it’s acceptable for the remains to take up to three weeks to get to you. Pets in Peaceful Rest can guarantee the remains will be returned within 72 hours if desired.
At Pets in Peaceful Rest, they track the pet by means of an indestructible metal identification disc which is placed on the animal at the time of death. The pet parent/family is sent an email when the pet is received that provides the tracking information inside this metal disc. This allows them to track the location of the pet (in real time), so that they always know where the pet is during the process, and can even request to be present to view the pet going into the cremation chamber at the facility.
What Pet Parents Need to Know when a Pet is Sick or Dies at Home
Scott fills us in on all the important things pet parents need to know when a pet is very ill or has passed away at home:
It’s important to maintain good communication between the pet parent and a veterinarian.
Pets in Peaceful Rest offers home removal of a pet that has passed away.
Pets in Peaceful Rest operates like a funeral home for pets and offers removal of the pet from the home or place of death the same day it passes away.
Their business serves Niagara, Orleans, Erie and Genesee counties. There is also a Pet Passages Affiliate in Monroe and Herkimer counties. If a pet parent lives outside of the service area, there may be a mileage charge in addition to the home removal charge.
If someone is unable to use Pets in Peaceful Rest or a Pet Passages Affiliate, a private burial can be performed by a family member (if allowed by local codes and ordinances), or the Animal Control Officer in the local vicinity can be called and asked to remove the pet from the home.
Regarding the health of the pet, a veterinarian will be able to provide guidance on how to get through tough days and medication that can help the pet remain more comfortable or pain-free. The veterinarian may also suggest when the time has come to let the pet go, which according to Scott is:
“One of the toughest decisions for any pet parent to make…when to say goodbye. We don’t want our special family member to suffer but we don’t want to lose them either. The pet will tell you when it’s time by not eating, not drinking or just looking at you….you will know when it’s the right time.”
Options for Pet Parents in Regards to End-of-Life Care and Saying Goodbye
Experienced veterinarians are available who now offer Hospice Care for pets that are terminally ill and will treat the pet with love and care in the comfort of their own home. They will also go to the home setting and can euthanize a pet at home rather than having them brought to a hospital or veterinary clinic. Scott tells explains more about this home euthanization option and memorial services at Pets in Peaceful Rest:
“For many this is a wonderful option, allowing the whole family to be present to assist the pet across the rainbow bridge and to be surrounded by the family that loved and cared for that pet. For the families who don’t want that option at home but also don’t want the sterility of the clinic setting, Pets in Peaceful Rest offers the Hospice Veterinarians the opportunity to use our facilities…particularly the Rainbow Bridge Room, as an alternative place for putting the pet down. It also allows family and friends a peaceful, serene environment to say their final goodbyes. We are a Pet Funeral Home. The ability to say goodbye in our Rainbow Bridge Room is not just for Pet Parents and Pet Families, but it is also for companion pets in the same household. Pets grieve too, and we encourage Pet Parents to bring the entire family in to say goodbye prior to the cremation, if they choose that option to do so.”
Losing a Beloved Pet and the Grieving Process
“Grieving the death of a pet can begin prior the death of that pet. We offer the ability to counsel families on the options available to them prior to the death,” Scott says when telling us about how his company helps families through the grieving process.
Pets in Peaceful Rest helps families plan for the death of their pet, which includes picking out an appropriate urn or jewelry keepsake, and even planning some kind of memorial service for their pet. On their website, Pets in Peaceful Rest offers the option of posting stories of the pet on their section called “Pet Tales”. Scott tells us that, “even families we don’t serve can post stories of their pet to share web-wide. We also have the option of posting an obituary or memorial video on the website.”
Pets in Peaceful Rest also has Clergy on staff as well as a Certified Funeral Celebrant who can meet with families to plan a proper memorial service or celebration of their pet’s life. They also have a Certified Grief Recovery Counselor on staff to assist families who are having a particularly hard time with the death of their pet. Scott goes into more detail about the counseling services:
“If a pet family is struggling with what to do with the pet following the cremation process, staff is available to talk at length with them to assure that they make the right decision for them. We have relationships with various cemeteries that offer in ground burial along with their pet parents and/or we can assist them in obtaining a niche in a columbarium should they wish to have the cremated remains placed there. We also have relationships with outside mental health professionals if the need for grief counseling is advanced.”
Turning Pet’s Ashes into Astonishing Diamonds – Together
At Heart In Diamond, we work with many companies that handle pet cremation, such as Pets in Peaceful Rest, to transform beloved pets’ remains into gorgeous diamonds and diamond jewelry. We are honored to work with qualified professionals, such as Scott Schmidt, and are grateful he took the time to provide us with more detail on his company’s role in preparing and executing the final arrangements for pets.