Meet the Staff of Pet Pilgrimage Pet Crematory
Mike Cook, Owner
Pet Pilgrimage, the only full service pet crematory of its kind in Iredell County, was founded by H. Mike Cook, owner of Cavin-Cook Funeral Home. As a funeral director, Mike has cared for families going through the devastating heartache of losing a loved one for over 40 years. Prior to opening Pet Pilgrimage he had always felt there were more members of the family worthy of the same dignity and respect, and those family members were pets. To answer this need, Pet Pilgrimage opened its doors to pet families in 2008.
As a young boy growing up in Mooresville, Mike took on the role of taking care of his neighbors’ pets whenever one would pass away. His parents owned a vacant lot behind their home where they allowed Mike to bury their family friends’ pets. Mike explained the services he once held, “With my wagon serving as the pet’s hearse, I would bring my furry friends to their final resting place, direct a pet service for them and then carefully bury them. These pets were my friends – they watched over me as I mowed the yards and played in the neighborhood – and I always felt my pet friends should be treated with dignity.”
His childhood tribute to his four-legged friends soon became a vision of a full-service funeral home and crematory for pets. Pet Pilgrimage was created by a pet lover for pet lovers with the sole purpose to ensure that families’ treasured pet children are given the gentle care and respect they deserve. “A lot has changed since my youth, however, what hasn’t changed is my belief that our pets are special and should be treated as family” Cook continued, “Honoring your Pet as Family is more than just a company tagline to me. It serves as the philosophy on which Pet Pilgrimage is based.”
Leslie Reid, Director
I have always been passionate about animals. Growing up, we always had a dog and at least two cats in the house. As a teenager, I fell in love with horses and had the privilege of having a beautiful hunter-jumper named Chips Ahoy in my life.
Throughout the years I have loved and lost pets. Each loss was accompanied by great sadness, helplessness and sometimes guilt. I understand the emotions that surround pet families after losing a pet and believe that true love cannot be separated by death.
Today I am blessed to have a house of pets, three cats: Gracie, Pretty Girl and Big, a Chorkie named Harley and a Vail Chameleon named Norman. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful what they have brought to my life.
At Pet Pilgrimage, I have the unique opportunity to help families celebrate the lives of their pets. I am also able to assist family members in obtaining the support needed following the loss of a pet. Losing a pet can be especially difficult for a child that is dealing with death for the first time or an empty nester who has lost their best friend and constant companion of many years. The Grief process is not the same for everyone and for that reason, proper support is important.
My goals are simply to help you bring closure and celebrate the meaning and joy that your pet brought to your life.
When people experience grief, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. My passion is to bring healing and guidance to those people who have experienced a great loss and working through their grief. Under the direction of Leslie Reid, I have been able to strengthen my ability to attain that passion. Although I know that no single approach is the right one for every individual or family that we assist, I believe that being compassionate is key. I have personally undergone the loss, the grief, the guilt and the unraveled life with the passing of two of my own furry family members. However, I have no doubt that they will be waiting for me on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.
My husband, Aaron, and our 6 year old twins, Ethan and Jonah, love our latest addition to the family, Tiberius. “Tibee” is a Great Dane with tons of energy! Each pet that has become a member of our family has brought so much love and happiness.
I presently hold the position of Office Manager and have been working with the Pet Pilgrimage staff for just over a year. Each day I am challenged and each day I feel like I grow a little more. I feel as though God has placed me on assignment and I feel blessed to work with such an amazing family!
I was born and raised in Mooresville and plan to remain here, close to my family and friends. Having good friends is important to me as they keep me grounded and are always there for me. I’ve always been an animal lover and fondly attached to my pets. Pictured with me is my miniature schnauzer, Malakye Cash and my other sweet dog, Callie Louise.
All pet families that come through Pet Pilgrimage are near to my heart as I know first-hand what they’re going through. Before joining the team here, my family and I had three beloved dogs take their journey to the Rainbow Bridge, and Pet Pilgrimage was there for us. My mission at Pet Pilgrimage is to give everyone the same amount of love and respect that I received when I needed it most.
I’m a warm weather person, so summer is my season. There’s nothing better than grilling out or the smell of fresh cut grass. Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you Christmas is my all-time favorite season – I can listen to Christmas music year-round. I classify myself as a concert junkie; Trans-Siberian Orchestra is my favorite band, and I hope to meet Lady Gaga one day.
My goal in life is to live every day to the fullest, and don’t regret anything! From the inspiration I receive from the spiritual world and the love and support of my family and friends; I’m a very blessed gentleman.
I am a proud mom of a beautiful 12-year-old daughter, Casey and a handsome 8-year-old son, Landon. My husband Michael and I married in 2003 and reside in Mooresville, NC. We also have two beautiful fur babies, Luna and Aubie. I have a passion for animals and have been blessed with wonderful pets all my life. I’m drawn to the unconditional love and companionship animals provide to us as their owners and families.
After working in a corporate environment over 10 years, I felt as though something was missing in my life. I began to realize I had a strong desire to make a difference in people’s lives by helping those who were hurting. Being a part of Pet Pilgrimage has given me the opportunity to combine my desire to help people with my love for pets. The business administration experience I gained prior to coming onboard has proved invaluable, though the ability to help people on a more personal level is undeniably more fulfilling. I’m also fortunate to be able to bring my precious fur babies, Luna and Aubie to work with me every day.
I’ve made some wonderful friendships during my time here within the organization and with the families we have served. The babies received in our care are treated as if they are our own. Knowing that I can be an extension of a family member to their beloved baby once they have passed, provides a sense of comfort for me. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be part of such a great team of caring, compassionate individuals with family first in mind.