On May 31, 2013 at 1213 hours, it was end of watch for K9 Kaiser.
The town mourned their beloved Kaiser, a 2-year-old German shepherd who had lost his battle with kidney disease and made his final journey to the Court Street Animal Hospital in Plymouth, MA. Kaiser was given a funeral befitting his valiant service to the town of 56,000 where officers lined up to salute the brave K-9 and honor his memory. He was then buried at the Angel View Pet Cemetery in Middleboro, Mass.
“Kaiser taught me more about myself and my profession than I could have ever taught him,” said Officer James LeBretton, Kaiser’s K9 handler and partner.
“I feel privileged to have had a front row seat to witness his bravery and heroic actions while serving the people of Plymouth and my brothers and sisters in blue. Although his career was short lived, he made a huge impact that will never be forgotten. Kaiser loved being a Police Dog and I will miss him dearly.”
"RIP my boy. I could not have asked for a better partner or friend. May you rest easy and wait for me at that sacred bridge," Lebretton, wrote in a Facebook post on the Plymouth Police Working Dog Foundation's page.
Funeral Home Gifts worked with Cartmell Funeral Home in Plymouth, MA to create a Tribute Blanket in Kaiser’s honor, which was presented by the funeral home to Officer LeBretton at the 5:00 PM roll call at the police station on Friday, June 14th.
Officer LeBretton was overcome with emotion upon receiving the Tribute Blanket and found it to be a comforting and meaningful way of keeping his beloved Kaiser close to his heart and that of his family. He stated that the memorial blanket was a treasured gift which hangs in his family’s home “with pride” in a place of honor. A lasting memory of a partner and a friend.
They’re not Pet Owners, they’re “Pet Parents”.
Recent studies indicate that 84% of all pet owners consider themselves “Pet Parents” and consider their pets to be family members, not just pets. When these family members leave this world for the “Rainbow Bridge” in heaven, these “Pet Parents” are choosing to conduct traditional burials and cremations through funeral homes, crematories, and pet bereavement providers. In doing so, they seek memorials to honor their memory.
East Lawn Pet Loss Center Cemetery in Sacramento, CA is the final resting place for 43 police dogs. All 12 of the canine units show up for the funeral services.
"There is a strong bond between the handler and the dog. Some of them have worked together for years," said Linda Matthews, an officer in the Sacramento Police Department's canine unit. The cemetery donates the property and funeral-related costs for the police dogs. Other costs – the casket and headstones – are covered by the Sacramento Police Canine Association, a nonprofit that collects donations for the animals' care.
Funerals for pets are not cheap. Most run from under $1,000 to several thousand dollars.
I think that’s a small price to pay for a lifetime of unconditional love.