PETS: Local company creates gravestones for Fido

An Animorial. Photos from

By Kim Kalunian, WPRO News

The loss of a pet is difficult time for any animal lover, so a new local company is looking to help grieving pet owners memorialize their furry friends in a unique way.

Animorials, a Rhode Island-based company that launched earlier this year, provides custom headstones for pets. The stones come in two colors, Dusk (a light gray) and Rose (a pale pink), and feature special, anti-rust plates that can be etched with the pets photos and name.

The headstones come in two sizes, and also double as urns. The larger size can accommodate animals like large dogs, though they plan to create even larger sizes for pets like horses.

Doreen Collins Vanacore, one of the women behind Animorials, said she and her husband were inspired to start the company after the tragic loss of their own pet.

Collins Vanacore’s husband Frank and his business partner Fred Pertraca have been in the construction field for more than 30 years, and the pair were working to develop a headstone company. But when Collins Vanacore’s Cairn Terrier, Wally, was struck by a hit-and-run driver nearly three years ago, their thoughts shifted to pet gravestones.

 “I saw him lying there and I just dropped,” said Collins Vanacore about the moment she discovered Wally in the road. He was only five. “I sat graveside for two days.”

Eventually the idea of leaving her beloved pet in the ground became too much, so she had him cremated instead.

Now other pet owners can have what Collins Vanacore didn’t: a proper grave marker that can also be used to hold the ashes of a deceased pet.

​“The feedback has been phenomenal,” said Collins Vanacore. She said many people like the idea of being able to take the pet’s grave with them if they move out of their current home.

The stones look like granite, but are made of a ceramic poly-resin. The photo and name plates are made from the same material as dog tags. Animorials are waterproof, rust-proof and weatherproof, said Collins Vanacore.

The large Animorials are $295 and the smaller ones are $265. Customers can upload their pet’s photo to the Animorials website and have it engraved directly. Shipping is free. Animorials does not provide cremation services.

Though components from the product come from outside the country, the product is assembled here in Rhode Island, something Collins Vanacore is very proud of. In addition to being a locally-based business, she’s looking to give back to the community, and plans to give a portion of sales to the Providence Animal Rescue League and other local animal shelters.

“The people that we’ve met in this [field], everybody is just so nice to work with,” said Collins Vanacore. “And we all come from the same place: the love of pets.”

To find out more about Animorials, call 401-822-4625, visit their Facebook page, or check out their website here


Kim Kalunian
An award-winning journalist and theater critic – and a performer at heart. Kim covers everything from politics and breaking news to food and theater.