A Peaceful Rest

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Bardstown woman makes final resting places for your pets

By James Calvert

Lucille Abell has a knack for making caskets for animals.


It’s more of a hobby to Abell, who has been making them for about a year and a half with her husband, Allan, at their home in Bardstown. Lucille decorates the interiors of the caskets, embroiders the animal’s name on the interior and her husband helps construct some of the caskets. Lucille said her caskets have become popular among dog owners who want to bury their animal in a sturdy casket rather than a shoebox.

She has sold several caskets, mostly to dog owners, by word of mouth. Wanda Price, Bardstown, bought a casket from Abell to bury her Terrier, Missy, when it died in February 2011.

Price buried Missy’s casket in her backyard.

“My husband and I helped with my son,” Price said. “It was very comforting to know I didn’t have to just throw her in the ground. We had a little service and we all said a prayer.”

Price said she had Missy for about 13 years.

“She was just loveable, and she was like one of the kids,” Price said. “It was just as bad to lose her and I like knowing she’s buried here and not out in the woods somewhere. It’s comforting she’s not thrown away like trash.”

The caskets come in different sizes and vary in price. The largest casket Abell offers is 40 inches long, 20 inches wide and 15 inches deep and sells for $492. The smallest casket is 16 inches long, eight inches wide and six inches deep and sells for $156. Caskets come in different colors and no vault is needed.

Price bought one of the smaller caskets from Abell and she said she loves it.

“It had a satin interior finish. She had a little lacy pillow. It was satin also,” Price said. “I had a pink blanket to cover her up, her name on the blanket and I covered her up with it. It’s like our little memorial.”

Price said she thinks about her dog Missy whenever she walks by the spot in the yard where she is buried and she has plans to erect a gravestone at the site.

Recently, Abell found a company in Tennessee that sells caskets made of polyurethane. The caskets are more rigid and provide an airtight seal. Abell decorates the interiors of the caskets for pet owners.

The caskets are well-made and can withstand up to 360 pounds per square inch, Abell said. She recommends burying the casket about three feet.

Abell advises pet owners to pre-arrange their animal’s funeral, rather than waiting until the last minute to buy a casket. Abell does not make caskets in advance and it can take up to two weeks to prepare one.

“My motto is don’t wait until you need one,” Abell said.

For more information about pet caskets, call Lucille Abell at (502)275-6125.


JAMES CALVERT can be reached at jcalvert@kystandard.com.