Marion funeral home supports grieving families with black lab, ‘Nero’

MARION, Ind. — A funeral home in Marion has a special employee on its team– a dog!

“Nero” is a certified grief therapy dog who works at Needham-Storey-Wampner Funeral Service, serving families who have suffered a loss.

The 3-year-old black lab started working at the funeral home two years ago and is well-known throughout the city.

“He’s here to love on people, that’s what he does,” said Nero’s owner, Mark Storey.

Storey is the co-owner of Needham-Storey-Wampner Funeral Service. He said Nero was specifically trained in grief therapy and works every day to give “love and hugs.”

“He can sense people’s emotions,” he said. “I don’t know how he does that but he does. When he sees (someone upset), he will go right to that person.”

During funeral services, Storey said Nero likes to greet friends and family members in the lobby, as they prepare to say goodbye to their loved one.

“When they see Nero, their demeanor changes,” said Storey. “It puts a smile on their face and that’s what we strive to do– help families in that time of need. If Nero can take away a little bit of that stress, then we’ve accomplished that goal.”

When not working at the funeral home, Nero makes weekly visits to the inmates at the Grant County Jail. Storey said the Grant County Sheriff’s Department developed a program for Nero to visit the females inmates, in an effort to ease their time during incarceration.

Nero also visits local healthcare facilities, schools and libraries.

Nero is well-known in the social-media world! Check out his pages below:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

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