Final Care Planning
Pet Grief Support
If you’re anything like us, you don’t consider yourself an “owner” of your pet, any more than you think you own the people in your life. You are so much more to your pet; an important member of their life. And they trust you to make the big, hard decisions which need to be made on their behalf.
One of those decisions involves choosing the way you will care for their physical remains upon their passing. While it may feel natural to bury a pet in your backyard or other private property, there are often local regulations which restrict this option.
For many families, there is only one choice open to them: pet cremation. Whether because of county or city ordinances, or personal preference; cremation meets a growing community need for appropriate final care for their pets.
Another thought when considering backyard burial is how you will feel if, for whatever reasons, you had to move and leave your baby in the backyard. Cremation allows you and your baby to be together forever, wherever you may go. Even when you die, you may choose to have your pets cremains buried with you in your casket. As funeral directors, we have done this many times.
The process of pet cremation uses heat to transform your pet’s physical remains to its basic elements. Sometimes these are referred to as “ashes”, or “cremains” –a word blended from “cremated remains”.
Because we are funeral directors, and model all we do for your pet, exactly as we would care for any human member of your family, we only provide PRIVATE, SINGLE cremations. This means that, no matter how small your baby is, we only place ONE at a time in the cremation chamber. Never, ever do we cremate more than one pet at a time. The only exception to this rule is if there are multiple littermates, newborn puppies for example, that die shortly after birth, and you ask us to cremate those babies together, and place them in an urn together for you.
We realize that you may be getting opinions from multiple sources, and we want you to understand exactly what is common practice in the pet cremation industry. While we do not provide these services, we want you to be aware of what they are when you hear these terms;
General or Communal Cremations are terms used when several hundred pounds of pets are cremated together. Obviously, you cannot have your pet returned to you with this inexpensive option.
Semi-Private or Segregated Cremations are done by placing several pets side-by-side on the floor of the cremation chamber prior to the cremation, then "scooping out" each pile left afterwards. While this is less traumatic than the General or Communal option, there is greater risk that you will receive your pets cremated remains along with portions of the other pets cremated at the same time.
We know that the options being given to you by friends, neighbors, even your veterinarian, are confusing. We invite you to call us and talk about your options and choices. Remember...take your time. Nothing has to be decided in the vet's office. We don't make funeral arrangements in a hospital room, so why should we have to make them in a vet clinic? Have them hold your baby, or bring it home with you, and call us to help you with your options.