Bogue Chitto man planning pet crematory

Published 6:00 am Friday, December 11, 2009

Little Spot will die someday, but he’ll never have to leave thefamily.

Lincoln County’s devoted pet owners may find solace in keeping abeloved family pet’s remains on the mantle. And they’ll be able todo so early next year thanks to a new pet crematory opening inBogue Chitto.

Sundown Pet Crematory on Pleasant Hill Drive plans to open inmid-January, pending approval of its furnace by the MississippiDepartment of Environmental Quality.

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“For a lot of people, pets are a part of the family,” saidWilliam Giles, who is opening the crematory alongside his wife,Pam. “Some people take dogs out the landfill and just throw themin. If you’ve had a pet in the family for 12 or 14 years, you don’twant that to happen.”

The Giles’ crematory won’t service off-the-street customers, hesaid, but would be available for pet owners through localveterinarians’ offices.

Giles said the price for cremation would depend on the size ofthe pet and whether the master wants the ashes returned. Forexample, he said, cremating a small dog of less than 25 poundswould cost around $30 if the owner didn’t want the ashes. The pricefor returning the ashes tops out at around $150. Ashes are nottransmitted in urns, he said.

Giles said his crematory would retrieve animals from the vet,cremate them and return the ashes, if requested, within a week.

It will take a serious pet owner to request cremation services,Giles admitted, but he’s hoping it catches on with Lincoln County’spet owners who just can’t let go. The crematory has the potentialfor success if pet cremation becomes popular, he said.

He got the idea from a family member who has successful operateda pet crematory in Texas for one year.

“I’ve been working out of state a lot, and I wanted to come backhome. I couldn’t find a job making the money I wanted to make, so Ithought this might work for us,” said Giles, who has lived in BogueChitto since 2004 after traveling the country as a chief financialofficer for several organizations.

To do the dirty work, Giles has already purchased and installeda 5,000-pound, diesel-fired crematory that burns at 1,700degrees.

He handpicked the crematory after reviewing a list of machinesdesignated acceptable by MDEQ. The crematory operates withoutproducing any smoke or odors, he said, and is stationed on 70 acreson Pleasant Hill Drive.

Although the crematory will hold a carcass weighing up to 600pounds, Giles said only small pets like cats and dogs would beaccepted.

Information on Sundown Pet Crematory can be found in many vet’soffices in Brookhaven. The office is already set up and can bereached by calling 601-734-3845.

Giles said he suggested the business be called “Up in Smoke,”but his wife didn’t think it was funny. He has five dogs himself,and plans to use his own services.

“I have one dog I’ve had for 10 years, and he’ll be cremated andput on my mantle,” he said. “He’s part of the family. When he dies,it’s going to be hard.”