Losing a four-legged friend and the unconditional love they provide can leave a family with heavy hearts and searching for a special way to memorialize their beloved pet.
Eichholtz, Daring & Sanford Funeral Home & Cremation Center has opened a new dedicated wing that now specializes in extending the center’s legacy of compassionate and supportive care for those who are navigating this difficult type of loss.
In the last month, an on-site pet crematorium has opened at the 321 N. Main St. facility that is separate from the human crematory.
Those being served by Eichholtz, Daring & Sanford Pets are greeted in a private meeting room by office manager Choy Sanford, and can browse a wide selection of personalized pet memorials available in an adjacent room.
A lifelong pet owner and lover, Mrs. Sanford has 20 years of experience working in area veterinary offices. The Zanesfield resident said her family currently has four cats and two dogs and has recently dealt with the loss of one of their own pets.
“I know what they want and what they’re going through,” she said of her clients. “When this opportunity opened up, I was very excited to start working here.
“I have always had cats and dogs since I was young, as we lived out in the country. They fill our home with a lot of happiness and character.”
Trey Daring said the funeral home and cremation center has received many requests in recent years for pet cremation, especially after the on-site human crematory opened in 2015. He and the entire staff are excited to be able to serve the community in this new way.
“We have had a lot of people asking about this, and we feel like this is a way that we can reach out and offer a ‘thank you’ back to the community for all of their support they’ve given to us.
“We know that people’s pets are important members of their family, and we treat each one with the same dignity and respect. We only cremate one pet at a time and it is all done here by our certified staff.
“We are looking forward to this opportunity to build those relationships with younger families, too.”
With the construction and installation of this specialized center this year, Eichholtz, Daring & Sanford is the only funeral home to offer pet cremation on site in the county and in the surrounding area as well, Mr. Daring said.
Having a full-time, designated staff and everything on site expedites the entire process for families, instead of outsourcing any of the steps, the staff members related.
Cremation packages start at $69 for animals that weigh up to 4 pounds. For animals that weigh between 5 and 35 pounds, the cost is $119; for animals between 36 and 75 pounds, the cost is $169. Documented service animals are $50. For additional pricing for larger animals, visit www.edsfh.com/pets.
The cremation package fees include a wooden urn with customized engraving, fur clipping, ink paw print and certificate of cremation.
Specialty urns and memorials also are available at the office, with Mrs. Sanford noting that some are biodegradable and even include a plant that will grow from their pet’s cremains.
Mr. Daring said there is no fee for transferring pets from a Logan County veterinarian office during regular business hours. Clients have also brought in their pets that have passed away at home.
The funeral home also has recently purchased an AP Lazer engraver, which will provide for efficient custom engraving work in-house.
In addition to the new pet services, the funeral directors noted that another expansion of amenities includes 40 new parking spaces added at the Bellefontaine location just in the last week. Mr. Daring said two houses behind the funeral home were torn down to make way for the expanded parking lot.
“Having enough parking spaces for our families and their loved ones to come and show their support is important, so we are thankful for this addition as well.”
Along with the new office manager for pet services, Eichholtz, Daring & Sanford Funeral Home & Cremation Center also has added several other new staff members this year, including Kevin F. Jennings, licensed funeral director and embalmer; Randy McCully, Buckeye Monuments manager, who handles all of the granite monuments and memorials; and Nathan Knight, advance funeral planner, assisting those making pre-arrangements. Longtime employee John Engle, who started in 1994 in the maintenance department, has recently been added to the crematory staff as a licensed crematory operator.
Eichholtz, Daring & Sanford Pets is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and after hours by appointment. Mrs. Sanford can be reached at 592-6781.