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. We hope you’ll join us in Atlanta, Georgia July 20-21, 2024!

Register today to join us for this insightful course!

Registration is Now Open!

Registration for this in-depth one-and-a-half day short course is now open! Class sizes are limited so act now to reserve your spot! Online registration must be received by July 10 at 11:59 PM EDT. After this date, registration will be on-site only.

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  
    Short course introduction from Lauren Blevins, CCFE, CPLP  
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Session 1 Andrew Parsell, Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium
    Establishing Relationships to Ensure Success: Developing a Pet Program
    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 session will help attendees to identify their market needs, understand the foundation needed to create a pet program, and how to service and grow a pet program successfully. 
  • 10:30–11:00 AM 
  • 11:00 am–12:30 PM
    Session 2 – Poul Lemasters, Esq., ICCFA General Counsel
    “Legal Matters with Pet Burial and Cremation” – Looking at the Past to Understand the Future
    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
    Session 3 Tony Armogida, Global Atlantic Financial Group
    Embracing Pet Loss: Bringing Families Back
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
  • 3:30–5:00 PM 
    Session 4Lauren Blevins, CCFE, CPLP, Williams Funeral Homes & Crematory
    Best Practices in Pet Loss Integration
    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’s 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
    Session 5Anna McClain, PAWS Pathway
    LOSS: Leaving Our Soulful Signature (Guiding Clients through Pet Loss)
    This session will help educate attendees how to communicate on a more personal level with clients who lost their pet, by identifying different experiences of pet loss (including complicated and traumatic loss), learning physical and emotional-related aspects of grief, and knowing empathetic language for calls and meetings. Attendees will also learn five helpful strategies in leaving a soulful signature in their clients’ hearts during pet loss (support groups, donations, remembrance ceremonies, online memorials/candlelight services, and resources) and understand compassionate communication with clients of all ages (children, teenagers, adults, senior citizens).
  • 10:30–11:00 AM 
  • 11:00 am–12:30 PM
    Session 6John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE, Park Lawn Corporation
    Creating Spaces for Pets in Your Cemetery Development Plan
    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 PM
    Short course wrap-up with Lauren Blevins, CCFE, CPLP 


Every year, the ICCFA Educational Foundation offers scholarships to attend the Pet Loss & Integration Short Course. This generosity allows the ICCFA to provide the incredible educational experience of the Short Course for free! Interested members can apply for a scholarship now through April 30 at 11:59 PM EST!

  • Those who are awarded a scholarship will receive their tuition (which includes meals) paid in full.
  • Please note: All scholarship winners will be responsible for their hotel and transportation.

Hotel Accommodations

Emory Conference Center Hotel at Emory University
1615 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329

Phone: 404.712.6000
Toll Free: 1.800.933.6679
Fax: 404.712.6025

Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, ample meeting space, conference dining facilities, and well-appointed guest rooms, the Emory Conference Center Hotel is an all-inclusive venue that will provide the perfect backdrop for learning.

The room rate in the ICCFA block is $169 per night (excluding any taxes and fees) and closes on Monday, July 1.