By Shelly Allen
Monarch Pet Memorial Services is a South Florida-based company that is owned by Dr. Mary Gardner, co-founder of Lap of Love and her brother, Allan Gardner. Dr. Mary Gardner has dedicated her veterinary career to creating a peaceful end-of-life experience for pets and their families. She has authored numerous articles on end-of-life care, as well as a textbook focusing on geriatric medicine. Her passion for pets inspired the idea for Monarch, ensuring that pets are respectfully cared for until they find their final resting place.
If you would have asked Allan Gardner if he would ever own a pet crematory the answer would have been a resounding, “No,” but being the brother of Dr. Mary Gardner certainly put that into the realm of possibility. “Owning a pet crematory was not something I imagined doing but it has quickly turned into a passion and I enjoy meeting the families that we are able to help.” Allan Said.
The crematory utilizes a water-based system of cremation called, Aquamation or alkaline hydrolysis. It is a gentle, quiet, and eco-friendly process using a combination of flowing water and alkalinity to accelerate the natural course of tissue breakdown that occurs when burying pets. According to Mary, “I became interested in pet cremation services due to my extensive work in the end of life care field. Having visited hundreds of pet crematories around the country, I always liked the concept of Aquamation. I always wanted to open a pet crematory but once I learned about Aquamation, it was a mission from that moment to bring this type of service to South Florida.”
The Monarch family has grown to include Michele, Mirca, Ashley, and Tonka. Michele is the Care Coordinator whose role is to package memorial items, speak to families, arrange funeral or viewing services, answer questions and be the kind voice to those in need. Mirca and Ashley are responsible for caring for the pets during the pet cremation process and Tonka is the very friendly Rottweiler. If you need a big cuddly dog to love on when you arrive, he’s your pup!