Why attend this short course?

With more and more families considering their pets as family, adding pet loss services and products is a great way to expand your business within your community.

In-person Registration Available!

This one-and-a-half day short course will cover topics such as developing business plan with pets in mind, how to sell to new or existing families, legal issues involving pet burial and more! Join us from July 21–23, 2023, to discover how serving pets is serving people. Online registration is closed, but you can still register on-site in Atlanta!

Registration Rates

ICCFA members $750
Non-members $975

Schedule of Events

*schedule is tentative and subject to change

  • 2:00–5:30 PM
    Registration & Check-in
  • 4:30–5:00 PM
  • 5:00–6:00 PM
    University Reception
  • 6:00–7:00 PM
  • 8:00–8:45 AM
  • 8:45–9:00 AM
    Course introduction – Lauren Blevins, CCFE, CPLP
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Developing a Pet Program – Andrew Parsell
    Pet parents. Someone who loves animals and has an inherent bias that ties them to their own pets. As deathcare specialists, why are we not servicing the “Pet Parent?” With over 1.5 million pet cremations per year according to the Foresight Companies, we know the demand is here. This seminar will help you to identify your market needs, understand the foundation needed to create a pet program, and how to service and grow your pet program successfully.
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Legal Matters with Pet Burial and Cremation: Looking at the Past To Understand the Future – Poul Lemasters, Esq.
    The pet funeral profession continues to grow. The big question is what is pet deathcare growing into? No one can say for certain what the future will bring– but we can predict and try to be prepared.  How do we predict?  We look at the past. We look at the present. We compare other professions. We look for trends. By looking at all of this – we then can make predictions on where we may be heading.  Why is this all important?  With all the growth of pet funeral profession, there are also more and more risks.  In our society, it is hard to provide more service without accepting more responsibility.  The pet funeral profession has leaped into the 21st Century, but the practices and procedures lag.  As a result of the growth, and lacking procedures, there is an increasing area of liability risk for everyone.  If we do not prepare for the future, then we are doomed to repeat the past.  This seminar analyzes past, present, and future issues that are changing and re-defining the liability issues for pet funeral providers.  The focus is on “real” problems causing lawsuits and the prevention measures needed to prevent.
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Embracing Pet Loss: Bringing Families BackTony Armogida
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Best Practices in Pet Loss Integration – Lauren Blevins, CCFE, CPLP
    Figuring out which way to begin when starting a pet program can be difficult. Lauren will share some examples of do’s and do not from experience of starting a pet program with a funeral home as backbone. We will also discuss how running the successful pet program can have positive effects on your funeral home.
  • 5:00–6:00 PM
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Student Night 
  • 8:00–8:55 AM
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Generate More Pet Loss Revenue with Precise Digital Marketing  Richard Martin
    More funeral homes are adding pet cremation to their service offerings, making this the perfect time to explore the user experience for families facing an at-need situation with a pet. What do pet families know about their options when a beloved companion dies? How do you capture their attention when they’re looking online for information on cremation, memorialization, keepsakes, and more? Ring Ring Marketing VP of Marketing Richard Martin explains how digital marketing can help funeral homes grow their pet loss services. He’ll explain how to gain market share with strong local SEO and pay-per-click advertising, brand your firm as a compassionate pet loss service provider through social media, establish trust by generating more positive online reviews, and much more. He’ll also discuss the benefits of having a dedicated website for pet families, the importance of incorporating high-conversion elements into the site, and the need to have a mobile-friendly site.
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Creating Spaces for Pets in Your Cemetery Development Plan  John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE
    Pets are important. Americans spent $124 billion dollars on pet products and services. Among Americans yet to purchase a home, nearly 42% admitted that their pet or the desire to have one would be a key factor in their decision to buy a house. So with the pet industry continuing to grow rapidly in the US, what are we doing to help facilitate memorializing a pet as they go to the Rainbow Bridge? In this informative session, John will share the thought process, development components and return on investment potential of adding a pet burial and cremation area to your cemetery.
  • 12:30–1:00 pm
    Course Wrap Up – Lauren Blevins, CCFE, CPLP