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Baltimore County

Dulaney Valley Memorial Garden opens pet loss center

As Dulaney Valley Memorial Garden commemorates the 55th anniversary of its first pet memorial garden, the cemetery will open a new full-service aftercare pet facility called the Dulaney Valley Pet Loss Center.

In 1967, Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens opened one of Baltimore County’s first pet memorial gardens called the Pet Haven. This original pet area was created in response to the need for sites that would pay meaningful tribute to pet family members. Over the years, two more sites were created, and pet loss services expanded, including the Pet Sanctuary and Faithful Friends gardens.

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The new center will provide a variety of pet loss services built around grief support for pet parents. Services include transport, memorialization, ritual options, funeral services, private cremation, burial arrangements, keepsakes and grief support.

“As the demand for more pet burials and customized pet memorial ceremonies continued to grow each year, we started our plans for a full-service pet aftercare facility and pet funeral home,” Amy Shimp, general manager at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, said in a news release. “As our plans moved forward for the Pet Loss Center, we sought the consulting services of one of the nation’s top experts on pet loss and grief support, Coleen Ellis, and the results speak for themselves. Pet parents and veterinary professionals will be able to rely on the Dulaney Valley Pet Loss Center for all final arrangements in a setting that conveys respect and comfort.”

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The dedication for the center will be held at the conclusion of the annual Blessing of the Pets and Remembrance Ceremony on Oct. 22 at 10 a.m. The Blessing of the Pets and Remembrance Ceremony honors all pets and service K-9s both past and present. Current and former pet owners of all faiths are invited to attend. Those whose pets have died are encouraged to bring a photo.

The ceremony will include a bubble release, a memorial tree planting, unveiling of a dedication plaque, a demonstration by the Baltimore County Police K-9 Unit and recognition of the crisis response canines. Ellis will be the special guest for the event. Singer/songwriter Jon Wikstrom will perform, and the Jarrettsville Young Marines will also be part of the program. The ceremony returns after being on hold because of the pandemic.


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