Customized pet business heals hearts
A chance conversation concerning a pet's death led Deb Chebatoris to a life-changing and career-changing moment. Her friend's euthanized pet was going to be transported by a woman who was to perform its cremation.
This woman also was in the process of selling her business. Chebatoris was not sure why but she felt compelled to inquire further into owning and operating a pet crematory. This was a complete change from her background as a CPA working in the health care field for more than 20 years. The bigger obstacle was that she was highly allergic to dogs and cats.
Despite her initial reservations and her interest increasing, she accompanied the woman to homes to help transport the bodies and her allergies were not triggered. She took this as a sign that she was meant to own this type of business.
Her friend, Theresa Klemencic, owned Furry Friends on Washington Avenue, Bridgeville, and initially had space within her shop for Chebatoris to locate her business. This led to buying the building in 2004, four months of renovations, and the delivery and installation of a 9-ton cremation unit before she could open Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation at 442 Washington Ave. in January 2005.
The business offers a “from your hands to mine” approach that comforts families who already are distressed due to the loss of their beloved pet.
Once the pet is received into Chebatoris' care, she is the only person who provides services for the pet. Many have her receive their pet from the veterinarian or their home after the euthanasia is performed or the pet experiences a natural, unassisted death.
It takes approximately four to five hours from beginning to end and the family can witness any part of the process they care to see. She returns the cremains to the family in a handmade fabric bag. She has more than 100 fabrics to choose from; however, she will sew and make a bag from a fabric that a family provides due to the sentimental value of the fabric. She has used favorite blankets, pillows, jackets, pajamas and scarves that were once a part of the pet's life with the family.
She also provides a clipping of the pet's fur, wrapped around a silk rose bud and placed in a vase, to be given to the family as a special remembrance. She has roughly 350 different urns at the Bridgeville location. She also carries unusual and custom-made receptacles such as resin rocks, memory paws, and urns made of rare woods, handcrafted ceramics ad biodegradable materials. She also holds viewings for families.
Chebatoris is eager to give back to the Bridgeville community, participating in 2010-11 with the Borough of Bridgeville and the Allegheny Restores Project that made available partial funding to repair and update building facades in the central Bridgeville business district. She has also sponsored pet first aid classes and dog aggression classes.
Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation has scheduled its annual Healing Hearts Pet Loss Grief Seminar on Sunday, Feb. 16, at LaBella Bean Café, 609 Washington Ave., Bridgeville. The café will be closed to the public during this session. The session is free and includes a speaker with information and resources for working through the trauma of losing a pet. Pet owners are welcome to listen to and share stories of their animal companions. RSVP at 412-220-7800. Space is limited. For more information, visit www.ccpc.ws.
Charlotte Smith is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media and can be reached at 724-693-9441 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- South Fayette twins earn Eagle Scout honors
- Pet therapy program a success at Chartiers Valley school
- Chartiers Valley girls soccer team goes pink to raise funds for family