By Ella Will, For the Reporter
Since 2009, the family-owned and operated Precious Pets Animal Crematory has offered premium pet cremation services for the Auburn community.
Carrie Hines started the business with her husband after working at a veterinary office for many years because she felt upset about how pets were cared for after their passing. There used to be only one major company in control of the pet cremation process with most Washington veterinarians, and nobody knew where they went or what happened to them during the cremation process, Hines said. Her friends own a human crematory, and they encouraged her to open an option for pet owners.
The Precious Pets business is committed to caring for pets and their families. Sensitivity and empathy are their biggest priority in the pet cremation industry, Hines said.
“I have pets of my own, and they’re like children to us. We want to make sure that they’re taken care of both during life and after life,” Hines said.
Precious Pets offers several options for their customers, including private and individual cremation.
Private cremation is the process of handling a pet by itself, and individual cremation involves cremating more than one pet at the same time, but is still a process where pets are kept separate. While private cremation is most common and individual cremation is most cost-effective, it all comes down to the pet owner’s personal preference.
Standard cremation from a vet will take a few days on average, and the services at Precious Pets usually take seven to 10 days, Hines said.
“We like to do things correctly, not fast,” Hines said.
Precious Pets does have expedited service options for same-day or next-day pet cremation upon request. Owners can bring their pets, or Precious Pets will pick them up at a home or a vet’s office.
Carrie Hines and her husband are the only staff at Precious Pets. They use a procedure similar to human cremation, using identification tags, and no pets are shipped off to a separate facility. Certificates of cremation are all hand-written.
“This is not something that is just a job. For us, this is our life and our passion. We love the people who walk through our doors and their pets. We want to treat people how we want to be, and no pet is just a number for us,” Carrie Hines said.
Precious Pets also provides free cremation services for active/retired K9 officers, which started when a friend of theirs lost his life in the line of duty.
“This is our way of giving back and letting the officers know that we appreciate them,” Carrie Hines said. “We wish to honor K9 officers, as we understand that a K9 officer is more than just a pet. K9s are protectors, right-hand men, and they provide a great service to the community.”
Another complementary cremation service Precious Pets offers is for owners and families who have lost their pets in a house fire. Carrie Hines’s son is a firefighter, and she said they decided to begin this program after hearing all the heartwrenching stories he shared. Precious Pets does the service for free because for people who have lost everything, getting their pet back can bring some much-needed comfort, she said.
“I love my job and really can’t imagine doing anything else. I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years, but this one means something to me,” Hines said. “Losing a pet is a really hard thing to go through, and anything I can do to help is important to me.”