Pet owners seeking aftercare options in St. Louis will have new choices by this summer, based from an upcoming business to be located in Eureka.
Hinsdale Animal Cemetery, owners of an animal crematorium in suburban Chicago along with a family from the Kansas City area operating a business called Rolling Acres Memory Gardens for Pets, are establishing a location in Eureka to provide the comprehensive services for local pet owners.
This pet-related business was approved in November by both the Eureka Planning and Zoning Commissioners and Board of Aldermen.
Jon Remkus, with Hinsdale Animal Cemetery in Willowbrook, IL, said they are in the process of switching their operating name over to Loving Hearts Pet Memorial Services. The sign at the Eureka location, 1631 West Fifth Street, bears the new name. Closeby is the Applebee's restaurant; the new business representatives promised "little or no visible smoke or odor."
"We're all pet enthusiasts and pet lovers, so we treat animals with the highest level of service as pet owners would treat them themselves, with dignity and respect throughout the process," said Remkus.
He said their family in Willowbrook and Nancy and Gary Piper northwest of Kansas City both received requests from pet owners and veterianarians in St. Louis to offer compassionate pet crematory services. "So we decided to meet in the middle and do this together."
After Eureka was settled on as the location, they went to work on designs for a new retail building, which will offer at-home memorial items such as engraved river rocks. A Wildwood-based developer, Dale Hicks and Associates, is handling the design and construction.
The new location will not include an actual cemetery, however.
Remkus said they plan to look for a more rural setting in the future for a cemetery.
He said they will be able to handle all pets up to the size of large dogs, including cats, birds, pocket pet and exotics. Animals the size of a 250-pound pot belly pig are thought to be the actual limit.
"We are excited to come to Eureka. We intend to be good neighbors, and will run the cleanest, most dignified pet creamatorium in the nation," said Remkus. "We have an open door policy, so if anyone has questions, they can stop and learn about us, or take a tour."
Remkus' father, William, had told Eureka city officials they eventually may conduct up to six cremations a day, and will hire two to six or eight employees. He said they will pets brought to the facility would be handled in a "single, separate burn," and that tracking of the procedure wold be done electronically for owners, with encouragement of their participation.
A handful of animal crematoriums exist in the St. Louis area.