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Pet Cremation

 Wondering if anyone is familiar with pygmy goats?  I had a family bring their pygmy goat in for private cremation.  I have never had one as a case before.  Reading what I could males weigh at the upper levels around 85 pounds.  This fellow weighs in more like 100 pounds.  He appears to be pretty fat.  

I will obviously make him the first case of the day to start with a cool machine and I've placed him in our  holding freezer.  My thought being if I freeze him I'll get a slower energy release.   Basiclly I want to be able to keep him well under control during the cremation cycle.  Any advice from anyone familiar with pygmy goats would be appreciated.  Thanks.  

funeralcall's picture

Importance of Every Call | FuneralCall


What happens when your phone rings too many times? A ringing phone tells your caller: “There is no one there. They are closed”. When someone calls your funeral home, they want their call answered quickly and professionally, showing the importance of every call.  When this doesn't occur, your caller feels forced to turn to the next available Funeral Home.  Is this a risk you are willing to take?

The successful funeral home owner insists that their phone is answered within 3 rings. This indicates to your caller that you are serious about your business, assuring them that their concerns will be taken care of in a timely fashion. With FuneralCall, there is always a friendly, welcoming receptionist ready to listen and connect with the caller. This tells the caller “Only one call matters right now and that call is yours”. How can you ensure your phone is always answered in a professional manner within the first 3 rings when you have other families to serve and there is always a mountain of paperwork to complete?

importance of every call answering service

Consider your options.

Using an answering service will help you achieve this goal. FuneralCall is staffed to answer your phone with a real person. There is no rush when answering the phone; your callers will never hear: “Thank you for calling Jones Funeral Home. Can you hold?” and never get another word in before being placed on hold. We maintain a 98% average of answering on the very first ring.

Using an answering service all the time is not your only option. Your phone company offers a great feature called “Call Forward No Answer”. Your phones can ring at your funeral home first. If there is no answer after a predetermined amount of rings, the phone will ring to your answering service. This allows you the opportunity to answer the phone first if you are able to but ensures no matter what, the phone will be answered in a timely manner and your caller will be taken care of.

FuneralCall can ensure that your families are taken care of by providing you with a recording of every call. This allows you to listen to the entire conversation from start to finish. You will also be provided with a “Call Detail” report that shows you exactly how many times the phone rang before it was answered.

Every FuneralCall client is in the funeral profession. Our staff not only understands funeral lingo, but the importance of each death call to you and your staff. We also understand what it is like to be a family member asking for help when someone passes.

To earn your trust and confidence, and to prove that your business – and your tradition of providing caring service – will be in good hands, we invite you to try our services for free.  We are confident that if you have the chance to “put us to the test”, you will be convinced of both our quality and value.

It’s so easy to get started on the free trial – and there is no obligation or fine print! You don’t even need to cancel your current service if you are using one. In fact, we welcome the opportunity for you to compare it with ours. Over the course of the trial, we will answer your calls and create a plan to meet your requirements. When the trial period is over, we will estimate your future billing and welcome you to our service.

There’s never been a better time to try our services!

Please use our contact form to get started. 

Bob Fells's picture

If I Were A Dictator


[Note: This essay is one in a continuing series by ICCFA executive director Bob Fells focusing on various issues in our federal government. Although the subjects are political in nature, the approach is bipartisan in outlook, at least so far as that is humanly possible. The goal of each essay is not to persuade the reader to adopt a particular political viewpoint or party, but to illustrate why a knowledge of the system is important to protect our businesses, our homes, and our families.]


If I Were a Dictator

Let’s call it the People’s Republic of America. I don’t know why so many totalitarian governments insist on calling themselves “republics.” Plato must be spinning in his grave. I also don’t know why our news media insists on calling a tyrant or a dictator a “strong man.” I think of a strong man as a muscle-bound fellow in a circus, an individual providing the public with a certain amount of entertainment. But some of these political strong men are mass murderers, making the media’s softball term seem like a bad joke. Why don’t they just call them for what they are?

While I avoid political discussions in my travels around social media, it is difficult to completely escape them. Political views are a lot like religious views: in both cases people know what they believe, they tend to associate with like-minded people so their opinions are not challenged, and when they leave their charmed circle they are shocked to find their views challenged when they are used to receiving only head-nodding assent. Such people suddenly find themselves in the position of “proving” the correctness of their views, will become tongue-tied and frustrated with their inability to articulate what they know is the truth, and finally get very angry at being challenged. Thus, the wisdom of the old saw on avoiding discussions about politics or religion.

Amidst the political viewpoints exhibited on social media, most of them unsolicited, I have recently observed the left joining the right in wondering, “Where did my country go?” Not that the left believes it is joining the right in any way. Indeed, the villains for the left tend to be the usual Republican suspects. The right naturally castigates the Obama Administration at every opportunity but the odd consensus between left and right is the growing awareness of liberty restricted. The left doesn’t criticize the President the way the right does; instead the left questions why he is doing what he is doing. It’s not an accusation (so far), just a question.  

Like a mountain slowly emerging from the fog, this growing concern is coalescing into a major non-partisan issue. At this time the only debatable point seems to be who to blame. But the queasy feeling that we are under surveillance a lot more than we used to be is unmistakable. The impression even has several initials such as TSA, NSA, and AHA (Affordable Healthcare Act). Are things really so bad? Well, I think that even Gypsy Rose Lee would have objected to current airport security procedures on her person. It’s also pointless asking why the government is listening in on our cell calls and looking at our emails. It seems the government never did this before – until we realize that cell phones and email are very recent developments so government couldn’t do this before. We never had porn on the Internet either, until we had the Internet. The short answer is “because they can.” I know people who have no fear of their emails being read by third parties, simply because they don’t use email.

It seems that every advance in science and technology is marred by an almost immediate misuse of it. When television first hit the market in the late 1940s, many important commentators boldly stated that now everybody can watch opera and Shakespeare. Things didn’t quite work out that way and eventually shows like “Gilligan’s Island” became the norm. Some say the state of televised entertainment has gotten worse, going from the days of the insipid to the offensive.

Today we are living in a communications revolution that is decidedly a two-edged sword. We can call for help or just visit from almost anywhere now, but insurrections and terrorist bombings also have been activated by cell phones. The technological opportunities for misuse of governmental power are just now being understood: to “keep us safe” involves an unprecedented intrusion into people’s private lives. But just who decides where to draw the line of privacy, and when, and how, and do we get 30 days’ notice when they change their minds, will give us pause. Old style repression of dissent seems so 20th century, back when the government could control mass media. Today, it is not practical or desirable to repress communications that the government may not like. Instead, the better course is to direct it.

If I were the leader of a totalitarian government, I would want to give a platform to dissenters. Far from persecuting them, I would ensure they were well-compensated and quite successful. Naturally, I wouldn’t want them to be too successful. I would use such individuals as safety valves to let the public blow off steam. Since stories of government abuse are bound to surface one way or another, it’s better to handle the reaction instead of engaging in a futile effort to suppress them. The usual stratagems of plausible deniability would still be used of course, and a percentage of the public will want to believe the politician in question. As Lincoln famously observed, “You can fool some of the people all of the time.”  Lincoln took consolation from the fact that, “You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” True perhaps, but to win elections you don’t need to fool all of the people, only enough to get elected.

So by having the mass media dissenters observe a few simple rules, my totalitarian regime will not only survive, it will prosper. First, the dissenter will express high dudgeon and outrage so the viewers don’t have to. Let the guy on the screen put on a real show, maybe it will even go viral. He (or she) will get bigger ratings and more money. Second, the dissenters must give viewers the impression that they are on top of the problem and will investigate. In other words, they should leave viewers with assurance that they don’t have to take any action because their faithful host will obtain the facts and report back to them. They should feel free to return to their bread and circuses, or to update that term from ancient Rome, they can return to their TV and snacks.

Third and most crucial, our dissenters must not give viewers any tools whereby they can take action for themselves. For example, if there’s a bad piece of legislation pending in Congress, or a proposed regulation at one of the dozens of regulatory agencies, our dissenter must not provide the bill number or the rulemaking number that could encourage and expedite public comments. Don’t give phone numbers or email addresses either. The same goes for our print media too.

Wait a minute, this lack of contact information is already the norm! When was the last time you heard a bill number given on TV or printed in your newspaper?  Finally, it is important for our dissenters to let folks know that they will take care of the problem. While ridiculous to promise, a well-turned catch-phrase such as, “I’m looking out for you,” will create a wonderfully complacent attitude, insure the dissenters continued success, and free the public from involvement in safeguarding their own liberty. If this scenario sounds a lot like the United States in the second decade of the 21st century, there’s a very good reason why.

datadale's picture

Mailers Must Get Their House Lists In Order


 Congratulations, you made a great decision!  You’ve decided to constantly stay in communication with your current customers and continue the dialog that led to your initial sale. But now the real question, are you maximizing your databases potential?

Here are a couple suggestions that will allow you to leverage your current database and lead to additional sales while saving money.

1.       Every 6 months run your customer list through the national change of address file.

·         “Every year approximately forty million Americans move their place of residence and/or business, but their old addresses often remain in mailer’s databases. As a result, mailings continue to go to old addresses and not the new ones. It is estimated that at least 8% of all mail is undeliverable because of incorrect addresses. This means lost opportunities, lost sales, and wasted money” (USPS – Movers Guide)

·         All you need is to run a NCOA is Full Name, Mailing Address including City, State and ZIP

In the Death Care Industry, you will also want to add a Deceased Suppression to your house list to avoid mailing to families whose loved ones have passed away.

2.       If doing telemarketing and you already have a list that you purchased, then run the phone numbers through the National Do Not Call Registry.

·         Go to and register for your Subscription Account Number (SAN). You do not want to get fined $11,000.00 for violating the Do Not Call Act. 

3.       Append your customer file with additional demographic, behavior and lifestyle information

·         Find out who are you most profitable customers and anticipate likely future behaviors and buying tendencies.

·         If rolling out a new product or service, you are now armed with the proper knowledge about who to market towards

The saying is “You must own your Database”, but what does it really mean. You need to have a complete understanding of who your customers are, not only demographics, but why they buy. All of the time you spend on your marketing will be a waste if you’re sending the wrong message to the wrong group. With that being said, you’re wasting money and time reaching customer at wrong mailing addresses and phone number.

Dataman Group provides NCOA, Scrubbing, and Appending Services. Please email for more information.

omega's picture

Crematory Waste


I recently read that the federal DEQ can and will hold a crematorium responsible for the metal they dispose of. Appartently there could be hefty fines for not complying with this.  Anybody else heard of this ?

datadale's picture

What Are Your New Year's Resolutions for 2014?



As we begin 2014, it's natural for us to pause and reflect on where we've been in 2013 and then ask ourselves where do we want to go from here.
For business owners, it's especially important to take a deep breath, stop putting out fires for a moment and elevate our perspective.  Creating an annual theme might just do that for you and your organization.
Ideas for themes are limited only by your imagination.  Some possible themes include:
  • Organizing & Upgrading Infrastructure.   Consider cleaning out your office or warehouse, upgrading your computer systems, or re-designing your filing system. Think about moving towards "going paperless". 
  • Growth.  Plan for a 10% increase in sales and share what that would mean with all your staff so everyone becomes invested in the possibility. Plan monthly meetings to discuss growth-related themes, such as productivity or profitability.  You might want to designate people in your organization to develop a new skill such as learning a new language (Spanish), or developing new computer skills.
  • Abstract themes, such as creativity, or environmental consciousnessAt the risk of sounding a little fluffy, a creative theme might challenge you to look at your marketing with another paintbrush. In terms of environment, the Death Services Industry is uniquely positioned for an Eco-consciousness theme.
  • Relationships. You might dedicate your year, or assign specific staff to meeting new associates and building business relationships.  Your action item might be to spend more time networking, participating in groups, or going to the annual ICCFA conferencethis coming April, 2014.
  • A new service.  Perhaps you're launching a new service. Maybe your new service becomes your 2014 theme and you focus your marketing efforts, the way your staff answers the phone, your print and social media efforts to highlight this new service within your current offerings.
  • Giving back.  On a personal note, you might value volunteering and decide to organize your year around a couple of volunteer opportunities.    How can you work with your community to promote Veterans Services or Pet Adoption?
  • Exploring.  If the business is running smoothly without your day-to-day input, it might be time for that trip around the world.
As you choose you goals for 2014, make sure the majority of them support your theme for the year.  Themes can bring an overarching focus to our practices and our lives. 
What's your theme?  Let me know what your theme is and I'll share mine! 
jodiclock's picture

Nelson Mandela: Not Mourned, but Celebrated


Not too long ago, the world celebrated the life of Nelson Mandela. The entire world watched on national television a “Memorial Service” where dignitaries from all over the globe set aside their differences and gathered together to share stories, reflect, and honor a man who was not just an advocate of change and humanitarian, but also just a regular guy who loved his family and friends. The natives of Mandela’s country were not sad nor were they moping -- they were dancing, singing, chanting and full of smiles. They were not “mourning” they were “celebrating” or “paying tribute” to the life that he lived and his accomplishments made during his lifetime.

Truth be told, the world could learn one more lesson from Nelson Mandela -- and that is not to mourn, but to celebrate, gather together and share the stories that heal the heart.

The culture in the United States is not one of embracing death in a celebratory fashion. Norms for funerals in the states have been more ceremonial, ritualistic and very somber. The vast majority of our culture does not “celebrate,” they mourn. In my opinion, as a whole, we have turned into a death adverse society. We have accepted that death is a fact of life, but in a few very short decades we have become very reluctant to adhere to the previous funeral norms that our parents and grandparents adhered to. The baby boomer generation is once again changing the look and feel of a funeral, just like they did the school systems, cars, child birth, etc.

My husband, son, and myself are all in the funeral profession. Dale and I are boomers and my son is a Gen Xer. Maybe it’s time we, as a profession, provide a solution for our cohorts instead of lamenting for the funerals of day’s past. It’s time we stop pontificating about “educating” the consumer like Tom Lynch (New York Times best selling author and licensed funeral director and funeral home owner) recommends and listen to the voice of the family.

There is no longer a cookie cutter approach to honoring one’s life.

Traditional ritualistic venues may work for a segment of our families -- but what about the others? Maybe, just maybe, we can show families that we (the majority of funeral home professionals and funeral home owners) get it. It’s evident that we are our own problem and need to get out of our own way and change our verbiage, our clothing, our decor, and possibly our employee base.

If the general public can begin to perceive us as “regular” people, and not how the media has portrayed our profession to be, as uptight, money hungry, and frankly quite “odd” (due to our nature of business), the general public just may want to call on us, enter our facilities, allow us to wait on them and know that when they step through our front door, they, too, can pay tribute in a celebratory or even non-celebratory fashion that is comfortable for them, and not just go through the paces because we tell them what to do.

Families may not end up dancing in the streets like they were for Mandela, but there is no harm in them choreographing their own dance with our guidance.

What are your thoughts? I'd love for you to continue this dialogue with me! Please share your thoughts by emailing me at, or my blog To purchase my recently authored book, “Navigating the Elder Care Journey…Without Going Broke!”  go to

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