Pet Memorial Ceremony Offers an Opportunity to Remember and Celebrate the Lives of Lost Pets


People who have lost a pet are not rare, but the way they grieve the loss of a furry friend can make them a rare breed. Those interested in taking an hour to memorialize a lost pet can do so later this month. There’s plenty of time to submit a photo to be included in a memorial service set for Saturday, Sept. 27, from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. at the Cherryland Humane Society.

The event will be appropriate for all ages, according to organizer, Kerri Collier, owner of Great Lakes Pet Memorial in Traverse City.

There will be a pet remembrance video developed from photos submitted, two poetry readings, a spiritual message, water, coffee — and tissues at the free event.

Speakers include local veterinarian, Jennifer Klabunde, DVM, CVCP, and president of the Northern Michigan Veterinary Medical Association, and owner/veterinarian at Northwood Animal Hospital in Traverse City; Kim

Waldie, pet lover, horse enthusiast, and lead pastor at Living Hope Church in Traverse City;  and Dr. Sara Lint, DVM, and owner/veterinarian at Clarke-Everett Dog and Cat Hospital, as well as Collier.

Although little more than a good reason to celebrate the lives of pets that have passed during the entire month, and hold to hold the second-annual event in September this year, it is loosely connected to National Pet Memorial Day on Sunday, Sept., 14.

Collier said she held a local pet memorial last year in May and nearly 50 people attended. These types of events have been growing in popularity across the country. According to the International Association of Pet Cemeteries, the objectives of the day are to appreciate the strong bond between pets and owners, educate people about the grief process that occurs when a beloved pet dies and increase awareness of the many options available to memorialize pets who have passed away.

The holiday was originally created in 1972, by the IFCCA in recognition of the importance of remembering beloved lost pets. The day is always celebrated on the second Sunday in September. “We celebrate Pet Memorial Month here, well, every month,” Collier said. “It’s been a year and a half since our last event. We’d like to have one every year or so.

“Whether a pet recently passed or not, sometimes there is not real closure. Non-pet people might pooh-pooh grieving over pets, but when we lose a furry family member, it’s important to have closure.”

Collier is asking anyone interested to RSVP by either calling 231-421-1370 or sending an email to, since there only is room for 65 people at CHS.

Those wishing to submit a photo should do so by 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 20. For more information, visit


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