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MEMORIALS FOR PETS POPPING UP ACROSS AMERICA

 CHICAGO, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Your next trip to the cemetery to pay respects to your beloved Aunt Ethel may take on a new twist given a recent trend in upright memorials. As you wander through the cemetery, you may find a monument honoring your neighbor's dog, Fido. In fact, some day your dog and his buddies may all end up with monuments built in their honor.
 According to members of the Monument Builders of North America (MBNA), in the past few years more and more families have been purchasing monuments to remember their pets by.
 In the mountains of Ogden, Utah, a large-scale monument was built in honor of "Tiffy the Poodle." The nine-and-a-half-foot monument includes a life-size sculpture of Tiffany, etchings of her likeness and an inscription of A Dog's Prayer. MBNA President Dave Bott, of Mark H. Bott Co., who designed the memorial, says Tiffy's owners also opened a pet cemetery surrounding the monument.
 Although a monument built to honor the memory of a pet is not something seen every day, it is not an uncommon story. Memorials are being built all over North America as well as overseas. While the most commonly memorialized pets are dogs, cats and birds, MBNA members report memorials have also been built for snakes, turtles, pigs and goats. Grave markers can range anywhere from a simple wooden cross to an elaborate upright monument and are constructed from materials such as granite, marble, bronze or aluminum.
 In Abeleen, Kansas, Wayne and Janet Strong erected a 2-1/2 foot tall granite monument in memory of their dogs that have passed away. According to Wayne Strong, after raising greyhounds for 25 years, they decided to build the monument "so that when we are gone, the dogs will be remembered." The monument features the inscription "loved and loyal" and a bronze casting of one of the dogs on top.
 While many pet memorials can be found in back yards and in park-like settings, the vast majority are placed in pet cemeteries. According to Carolyn Shea, president of the International Association of Pet Cemeteries, there are approximately 650 pet cemeteries across the United States and Canada. This number continues to grow yearly.
 Most recently, MBNA member Ed Fowler of Palmer Brothers Granite Co., in Holdrege, Neb., built a monument in honor of "Andy the Goose." Andy, who was born without feet and learned to walk with the help of his owner, became a local hero because of the inspiration he provided for disabled children. Following Andy's death, a monument was erected with an etching of Andy and an inscription telling his story. People now come from all around to visit Andy's memorial, which has been placed in a local park.
 "Consumers are becoming aware that building a monument to their pet is an option," says Ed Simmons, executive vice president of MBNA. "As a result, we have definitely seen a rise in the number of pet memorials built in recent years."
 -0- 7/21/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Interviews available. Also available: top clinical psychologist's advice on helping children cope with the death of a pet./
 /CONTACT: Maggie Yost, 312-645-8222, for the Monument Builders of North America/


CO: Monument Builders of North America ST: Illinois IN: SU:

LD -- NYFNS1A -- 3707 07/21/93 07:32 EDT
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Date:Jul 21, 1993
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