Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- U.S. Reports First Zika-Related Death in Puerto Rico as NASA Predicts the Virus's Potential Spread
- Read the Cover Story: Prince, 1958-2016
- Dine and Dash! The Hot Spots Where You're Most Likely to Spot a Kardashian
- FROM EW: Geena Davis Originally Wanted to Play Louise in Thelma & Louise
- Prince's Half-Brother Breaks Silence on Icon's Mystery Childhood, Says He Influenced the Late Singer
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- February 01, 1993
- Vol. 39
- No. 4
Going Out in Style
Casketmaker Dennis Hoegh Sends Pets Packing in a Box of Their Own
Thanks to Dennis Hoegh, 59, owner of Hoegh Industries, the world's leading manufacturer of coffins for the fur-and-feather set, Charlie went to his final reward in dignified style indeed in one of Hoegh's Very Important Pet caskets. Built of high-impact molded plastic with a hinged top, a padded interior and a lace-trimmed pillow, the $250, 24-inch VIP model is just one of 30,000 pet coffins and urns Hoegh's Gladstone, Mich., company produces annually.
With the help of his wife and business partner, Jeanne, 57, and eight employees, Hoegh does a $750,000-a-year business providing caskets and urns to pet cemeteries—some as far away as Japan. He also sells caskets directly to the bereaved, such as the Colorado truck driver whose Doberman was run over when it jumped out of his rig, and the Oklahoma family that wanted to bury their prized pet turkey. For prices ranging from $10 to $300, Hoegh's customers can choose from a hamster-size box to a casket roomy enough for a German shepherd, and urns shaped like doghouses or the Grecian urn of antiquity.
A onetime Iowa food-sales representative, Hoegh got into the pet-burial business in 1966 after meeting a dog owner who had been unable to find an appropriate casket for a pooch long passed. Hoegh vowed to fill the vacuum. "I knew that's what I had to do," he says. After having his first caskets built, he began searching for backers. But many found his product macabre: One banker recoiled when Hoegh tried to show him a schnauzer-size coffin. "He starts waving his hands, 'No, no!' " recalls Hoegh, who eventually combined a government loan with private investments. "I showed him anyway."
Today he's dead certain that demand for his product can only expand. After all, little more than 1 percent of pets now receive cemetery burials. "I don't think we've even scratched the surface," he says.
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!