Ziemer Funeral Homes to incorporate therapy dogs into funeral process

Updated: Jul. 8, 2019 at 8:10 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Funeral homes throughout the country are introducing therapy dogs to their services because of their ability to help when it comes to mourning the loss of a loved one.

This is why Ziemer Funeral Homes in Evansville just got two therapy dogs, Milo and Aree. They are four-month-old Newfoundland mix puppies who are ready to give comfort.

The husband and wife owners of Ziemer thought these dogs would provide something valuable to their clients.

“We’ve had pets at home with our five kids and they really get attached to them and they just have an innate ability to know emotions. And so we started doing research on it and discovered that this is not an uncommon thing. There are a lot of funeral homes in the nation that are doing this," said Jennifer Ziemer.

Milo and Aree will be there to give families comfort whether it’s during the planning process, on the day of the actual funeral, or after, during the grieving process.

“It’s very intensive and emotional for families to go through that. Just to have somebody sitting there just being and letting them pet them while they’re going through the decisions they have to make, which are difficult decisions. We feel like that’s going to be an element as well. So, it’ll be the before, during and after part of it as far as the whole service is concerned in making it easier for the families," said Jennifer.

The two dogs will go through intensive therapy training at “Doggy Do Right.” Part of the training process will teach dogs how to react to the different emotions humans display.

When the funeral home is closed or not holding a service, the two dogs will be at home with the Ziemers and their children.

Milo and Aree will officially be therapy dogs when they turn a year old. That’s when they’ll serve families who chose to incorporate them into the funeral process.

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