“I want people to come and see what we are about in order to make the industry better,” explains Christine Johnson, President of Eden Memorial Pet Care, when asked about her vision behind following a Code of Ethics and doing the work necessary to be the first Pet Crematory in California to be awarded International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories (IAOPCC) Accreditation.
International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories Accreditation Award
In an industry with little regulations, the IAOPCC is the only organization with published recommended procedures for every step of the pet cremation process, including transportation, each type of pet cremation, readily retrievable records, facility standards and continuing education for pet crematorium staff members. Following five years of study and research, these Accreditation standards, processes, and program of inspections were rolled out in January of 2014 across the United States, Canada, and worldwide to its Members. – Press Release announcing the accreditation of Eden Memorial Pet Care in August of 2017.
A Need for a Standard Code of Ethics
“There needs to be a standard Code of Ethics in our industry,” explains Christine. “It just makes us all better and that is good for the Pet Cemeteries and Crematories industry.” Now that Eden Memorial Pet Care has set the bar for other California Pet Cemeteries and Crematories, their peers are coming to them for advice on how to get accredited too. This keeps Eden at the top of the pack when it comes to proper care and processes. “Knowing we are governed by another association who holds us accountable keeps our business practices ethical,” Christine explained further.
Making it all Happen
It took the staff at Eden Memorial Pet Care about three months of focused purpose to meet the demands of the accreditation process. At first the task seemed daunting, but Christine took a step back and really thought about things. “If we are doing it right anyway, it should be easy,” she thought. Christine met with Kevin Overbey, her Paso Robles Facilities Manager, once a week and broke down the 30 page “standards checklist” into individual tasks. The biggest change made was documenting all their steps and writing up all the procedures in an operations manual. “I had to put this all together for all of the positions and employees. We all know what to do, but now its all written down!” exclaimed Christine.
“Now we have an association which says we are the best,” Christine states. “This means our customers, and the Veterinarians we work with, know we are doing what is best for the pets we provide end-of-life care for.”
Celebrating the Achievement
In addition to the Seattle trip Christine appreciates her whole staff, “We held our annual Staff Appreciation dinner in January, but the dinner wasn’t just about the award. It was about appreciating each staff person and everything they all do everyday to serve our clients. We all do our share. My staff is just amazing!”
An Eye on the Future
Eden Memorial Pet Care will continue with progressive business practices in order to remain the best in the industry. Expansion plans are in the works to add a new crematorium to the existing building in Paso Robles. “We want to provide more of a funeral home experience to our pet clients,” expressed Christine. “The additional crematorium will also allow us to process horses more efficiently too.”
We are proud to honor our friends at Eden Memorial Pet Care in Paso Robles as the first Pet Crematory in California to meet the IAOPCC Accreditation standards.
Photos: Courtsey of Eden Memorial Pet Care