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Crematory helps out local pet owners
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      Last week was tough in the football world. Our high school football teams were officially out of the running and Georgia Southern ended a lackluster season. On top of it all, the University of Georgia - which is also having a lackluster season (and I am being generous here) - suffered a blow as its beloved mascot died suddenly of a heart attack.
       As the Bulldog nation mourned the death of UGA VII, I began to wonder. What does one do to immortalize their beloved pet? Most people do not have a mausoleum in a stadium in which to bury a valued member of their family.
       Then I remembered, there is an option here locally. You can have your pet cremated at Paws n Reflect Pet Crematory. Opened in 2008, the crematory is owned by Kim Futch, wife of local coroner Jake Futch who is also a funeral director with the Hodges-Moore Funeral Home in Statesboro.
       "I have been in the funeral business for about 30 years," Jake Futch said. "Kim and I just felt like there was a need for this type of a service. The death of a pet can be very traumatic for many people, and they just don't know what to do. They want to honor their pet, and keep some memory of it. This is certainly one way to do that."
       Futch said that urns are available for purchase to hold the pet's ashes. "We know that one of the concerns of the pet owner is that the ashes they are receiving are from their pet," he said. "Each animal is cremated with a metal medallion that is placed with it. That metal medallion is placed with the cremains in addition to a certificate of cremation. The pet owner receives all of these things.
       Futch said that they cremate about 12 pets per month on average. The price for cremation begins at $55. "It depends on the size of the animal, and whether or not it is a private cremation or a communal one," he said.
       The crematorium is designed specifically for pets, and can hold up to a 500 pound animal. According to Futch, there is also a pet crematory in Savannah and some in South Carolina.
       "Sometimes we forget that people grieve for their pets, like they grieve for their human family members," he said. "This is a way to help people through that process."
       I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the other college football team in our state which is frankly doing very well. Georgia Tech. Okay, I said it. Enjoy it while you can, because there may be a yellow jacket in that crematory on Saturday.