Elaborate ways pet owners are paying final respect to loved ones

Published: Nov. 18, 2013 at 10:30 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2013 at 11:14 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Spending money on your pets has become a big deal. Just this year alone it's estimated that $55.53 billion will be spent on our furry friends in the U.S., according to the American Pet Products Association.

And that spending is not just on the quality of their pet's life, but also the quality of their death.

Aleene Kann still has fond memories of her constant companion "Louie."

"I started thinking of him like a family member," Kahn said.

Louie was Kann's 12-year-old yellow lab who was put down this past May after an illness. Kann says she knew with Louie's age that he would not be around much longer, but wanted to do more than just bury him in the backyard.

"What I wanted to do is make it the best experience for him and all of us that loved him so much," Kann said.

So Kann decided to do what a growing number of pet owners are doing, and have Louie cremated. It's something that San LeBoeuf, the director of Pet Services for Faithful Forever, says she gets calls about daily, and she meets with 25 to 30 families a week seeking her services.

"We meet with them very similar to a human funeral director and go through all of their options of what they would like to have because for a lot of people, this is their family member," LeBoeuf said.

And it doesn't stop there. They also include a final goodbye with family and friends in a special room.

Pet cremation can range anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars.

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