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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Peaceful Pet Passage Delivers Compassion to Families and Pets

Jul 30, 2011 02:13PM ● By Beth Davis

Rob Lauver

Rob Lauver has always loved animals—so much so that he has dedicated his life to providing high quality pet services and educating pet owners about the great responsibility that goes along with ownership.

In 1987, he founded Golden Lake Recreational Pet Camp, with the belief that a pet could be boarded away from home without suffering the traditional complaints such as loss of appetite, depression, and more. Located on 25 acres outside of Mechanicsburg, he tailored the camp's services to minimize stress and provide an environment as much like home as possible, and it was a hit.

Soon, pet owners were asking him if they could bury their pet on his property after the pet had passed away. After going through the necessary zoning procedures, he designated a five-acre piece of the property for the Pennsylvania State Pet Memorial and Cemetery. In 1992, he established the Companion Animal Cremation Service, offering cremation services to the pet-owning public. “For most of us, our companion animals are beloved members of our families,” says Lauver. “We want to do what best serves the needs of our pets—whether it is during life or after death.”

After he started his cremation business, many of his clients, discouraged by previous experiences with impersonal euthanasia services, began asking him about in-home euthanasia service. “Euthanasia is never an easy decision, no matter how much a pet is suffering due to prolonged illness or advanced age,” notes Lauver. “But it seems to be made worse as you are sitting in a clinic with five or 10 other people. They are taking their pet home that day, and you realize you are not.” Although euthanasia was not a service he provided, because Pennsylvania law allows only licensed veterinarians to inject an animal, offering a home environment was something Lauver wanted to do; he just wasn’t sure how.

Dr. Benner
Dr. Benner

By chance, in 2010 he ran into Dr. Debra E. Benner, who had been a licensed veterinarian in the Central Pennsylvania area for more than 25 years. Benner was involved in a car accident that prevented her from continuing to practice due to prolonged periods of standing, but she was still licensed. He told her about his idea of in-home euthanasia, expecting nothing to come of it. She called the following day and toured his facilities.

Impressed by what she saw, Benner wanted to be part of his enterprise, and in May 2010 Peaceful Pet Passage was formed to provide peaceful and humane pet euthanasia services. After many years of clinical practice, Benner says she considers the services of Peaceful Pet Passage to be a compassionate option for both the companion animal and their family. The company soon attracted local veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Carney to come aboard, as well.

However, sometimes the home is not the best place for the animal to undergo the procedure. In these cases, Peaceful Pet Passage provides a private and comfortable living room suite for pets and their family. Whether in-home or at the facility, Benner and Carney are committed to euthanasia services professionally designed to honor a pet’s passage in the most peaceful and dignified way.

Dr. Carney
Dr. Carney
Last year, Golden Lake Recreational Pet Camp provided care for Olivia, a 15-year-old German shorthair pointer owned by K.C. Wenger and Dan Dorsheimer, when the couple was out of town. During that time, Wenger and Lauver had many discussions about aging pets, holistic and traditional treatments for their health challenges, and the options available to loving pet owners as their beloved companions lose their youth, health and quality of life.

Through these conversations Wenger also gained an awakened understanding of the in-home pet euthanasia service offered by Peaceful Pet Passage and the personal pet cremation service provided by Companion Animal Cremation Service. “It’s not an easy topic for any pet owner to engage in,” acknowledges Wegner, “but Rob’s educated, passionate commitment to the correct and responsible care of animals in life and in death made the conversations educational, as well as inspirational.” When Olivia’s neuromuscular control failed, and she was no longer able to stand or walk without falling, Wenger and Dorsheimer called upon Lauver and Benner.

“Our family thanks and commends Rob Lauver and Dr. Benner for having the knowledge, integrity, commitment and fortitude to provide a compassionate and dignified service for us as loving, responsible pet owners and our deserving animal companions,” she comments.

Peaceful Pet Passage is located at 210 Andersontown Rd., in Mechanicsburg. For more information, call 717-691-9214 or visit

October 2019