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New Med City pet crematorium to help people say farewell to animal companions

Gilmore, a Rochester entrepreneur who goes by one name, recently opened Hānai Pet Cremation at 3232 E. River Road NE in the former Hog Thai restaurant building.

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Gilmore, a Rochester entrepreneur who goes by one name, recently opened Hānai Pet Cremation at 3232 E. River Road NE in the former Hog Thai restaurant building.
Jeff Kiger / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — A new Med City pet crematorium is now open to help people to say good-bye to their animal companions.

Gilmore, a Rochester entrepreneur who goes by one name, recently opened Hānai Pet Cremation at 3232 E. River Road NE in the former Hog Thai restaurant building.

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His goal is to provide an experience comparable to a human funeral home for people making their final farewells to their pets. Hānai is a Hawaiian term that refers to the adoption of a loved one, like a pet, into a family.

It was his own experience with a sketchy pet cremation operation that inspired him to open Hānai.

When his dog, which he describes as his best friend, unexpectedly died, he looked up pet cremation businesses. Unfortunately, the service that he chose was not a reputable one and the grieving Gilmore ended up saying goodbye to his best friend on the tailgate of a pickup truck as it started to rain.

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“It was one of the worst experiences of my life,” he said. “I still regret that choice to this day.”

Hānai, which can process animals of up to 500 pounds, will be able to accommodate pets of all sizes.

“From a goldfish to a llama, we can help people with their beloved animals,” Gilmore said.

The ashes of the pets will be presented to clients in a wooden urn of their choice.

Gilmore, who is also the current commander of American Legion Post 92 in Rochester, will provide free services for dogs that work with the military, law enforcement and first responders.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in "Heard on the Street." Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.

Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard on the Street," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Jeff at 507-285-7798 or jkiger@postbulletin.com.
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