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updated: 7/17/2014 8:14 AM

Local funeral homes offer pet cremation, burials

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ALTON -- Funeral homes in the St. Louis suburbs have announced they will begin offering services for pets.

The (Alton) Telegraph is reporting that funeral homes in Alton and Bethalto both say they're starting to offer families several options as to how to commemorate their beloved animals.

Gent Funeral Home in Alton allows families to have a final viewing in one of the home's viewing rooms before having pets cremated. Bethalto's Elias, Kallal and Schaaf Funeral Home is setting aside separate burial sections at nearby cemeteries.

Ralph Gent Bowles is the president of Gent Funeral Home. He says he's been approached frequently by area families about pet burial services.

Because state law prohibits pets from being cremated in the same machines as humans, both homes have secured separate pet cremation machines.

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