8 things to know before burying your pet at a cemetery - WFLA News Channel 8

8 things to know before burying your pet at a cemetery

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Saying goodbye to your pet and deciding what to do with its remains can be a very emotional and difficult decision. If you are considering burying your pet at a cemetery, there are some things you should consider first.

1) Pet cemeteries in Florida are not regulated so you need to do your home work, according to Keenan Knopke, who is President and CEO of Curlew Hills Memory Gardens, a cemetery and funeral home in Palm Harbor that has a special cemetery for pets.

2) Knopke says the key to finding the right pet cemetery is planning ahead and selecting a cemetery before you actually need to use one. You can do this by searching the internet and then visiting each pet cemetery in person. If your pet has recently died, Knopke says a veterinarian will usually hold a pet's remains for you until you are ready to have your pet buried or cremated.

3) When you are visiting the pet cemetery look at how well the cemetery is maintained. "If it's not maintained well today, it won't be tomorrow," said Knopke.

4) Find out how long the pet cemetery has been in business, which can be a sign of stability.

5) Check out the pet cemetery's ratings with reliable independent third party organizations like the Better Business Bureau and Angie's List.

6) Find out if the pet cemetery is located on land that is owned free and clear, or if it has a mortgage on it. If there's a mortgage, there's the possibility the land could be foreclosed on if the owner runs into financial problems, and the future of the pet cemetery could wind up in jeopardy.

7) Find out who the owner of the pet cemetery is and if the owner is financially sound.

8) Find out if the owner has created a trust fund to maintain the cemetery. A trust fund is designed to ensure that income will always be available for the continued maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery, even when all of the interment spaces are sold, according to the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association.

Related: Tampa Bay area pet funerals can include casket, grave and more

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