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Featured In Wall Street Journal

January 4, 2018

Jacksonville Pet Crematory Featured In Wall Street Journal

James Hughey, owner of Jacksonville Pet Funeral Home and Pet Crematory in Florida, was rebuffed by a local newspaper when he suggested a death-notice section for pets. “They wanted nothing to do with it,” he said.

He created a page on his company website called Pet Memory Lane, dedicated to his late dog, Griffin. For $35, pet owners are allowed to post a photo, birth and death dates, as well as seven to 10 sentences of recollections. Mostly it’s dogs, but there was a new obit this week for Iroh Frazier, a goose that sometimes wore a blue tie. Her owners picked out a $700 pink Cloisonné urn for her ashes.

Pet owners usually write the obituaries, but some seek outside help. Katharine Lowrie, of Redondo Beach, Calif., a former newspaper reporter, charges $50 to $100 to write pet obits. Clients fill out a pet questionnaire covering talents, favorite foods, bad habits and whether the pets were introverts or extroverts. She also writes people obits but charges more.

Ms. Lowrie wrote the obituary of Pumpkin, a hound who visited elderly residents in nursing homes, and one for Tonto, a pit bull who chased skunks. When Fergie, her family’s English Labrador retriever, died, she mentioned in the obit that Fergie was at the top of her obedience class at Petco.

“The thing about pets is that they offer unconditional love,” Ms. Lowrie said. “When that loss occurs, it’s like a hole in your heart.”

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