Everyone at Puget Sound Veterinary Specialists knows how difficult it is to say goodbye to a beloved pet. We also know thinking about the care of your pet’s remains is emotionally challenging while also dealing with grief. As difficult as this is, aftercare is something we all need to think about – for ourselves and our loved ones.
Below we’ve described a few aftercare options. Most often this decision is made before or soon after a pet’s passing. However, if making this decision is too difficult for you in the moment, we can hold your pet’s body for a reasonable amount of time while you consider the options below.
Cremation involves the incineration of a body in a specially-designed furnace. This reduces the remains to ashes and tiny bone fragments (called “cremains”). There are two cremation options: individual or communal.
By choosing individual cremation, your pet will be cremated individually, and his/her cremains will be returned to you in a decorative tin. You also have the option of purchasing an urn from the crematorium or online.
Communal cremation means your pet will be cremated along side other pets so obtaining the cremains is not possible.
At Puget Sound Veterinary Specialists we can make arrangements for either option or you can take your pet to a crematorium by appointment.
If you do not like the idea of having your pet’s body cremated or if you would prefer a grave site you can visit, then pet burial is another option for you.
If you wish to bury your pet at home, please make sure local laws allow it. Unfortunately, in some areas, the local government does not permit pet burial on personal property.
Before burial, be sure to remove the body from non-biodegradable materials (like plastic). The body can be placed in a wooden or cardboard casket or cotton shroud. The grave should be at least 3 feet deep and in a location that is not likely to erode or be dug up again by humans, pets or wild animals. The gravesite can be marked with a special headstone, memorial rock or plant a special tree or bush in that spot.
Chambers Creek Pet Cemetery offers pet burial services in their beautiful pet memorial park. This will allow you a specific place to visit your pet no matter where you live. Pet burial services at Chambers Creek Pet Cemetery includes a casket and memorial marker.
Aquamation – also referred to as bio cremation or water cremation – is more like natural decomposition than any other method of disposition. The Aquamation process uses gentle water flow, temperature and alkalinity to accelerate our ecosystem’s natural method of breaking down and decomposing organic matter. A process that would naturally take months or years is reduced to just 20 hours. During that time, a combination of 95% warm water and 5% alkali gently rushes over the body.
At the end of the Aquamation process, your companion’s physical components have been returned to their natural elements, dispersed in water – with only the solid bone remaining, pathogen and disease free. In fact, viruses – and even chemicals such as cytotoxic drugs (e.g., chemotherapy drugs) – are broken down into basic nutrient elements, rendering them non-toxic. The mineral bone ash is returned in an urn to those who request take home remains. The water byproduct, known as effluent, is not only benign, but also beneficial. Returned to the environment, effluent is shown to improve municipal water systems. The effluent may also be used as a natural, chemical free fertilizer.
This service is offered at Resting Waters in Seattle and the above information is from their website.
Recomposition is a process used at Rooted to transform a whole deceased animal or animal cremated remains into nutrient rich soil utilizing composting technology and soil blending. The soil can be returned to you as a memorial token or it can be donated. Rooted donates excess soil to various urban forestry projects and tree-planting causes. Additionally, donated soil has been used to restore prairie grassland at the Rooted Ranch.
This information was adapted from the Rooted website. They are not currently able to take on new clients, but will hopefully be able to extend their services soon.