Pet Cremation Demystified. Part 7 of 9

By Patrick Couture
Director of Resting Paws Cemetery & Crematorium Inc.

Communal Cremation

 Aka group cremation. In this instance as many pets as the retort can handle are placed inside (for us it means 136 kg) and no ashes are returned. It is a matter of fact that not everyone is comfortable with having the ashes of their companion in their home, but this does not mean that communal cremation has to be impersonal and cold.  I will continue with pros and cons then I will give you a sense of what we do to make it special and allow our client a reasonable level of closure.

The pros for you are: lower cost, no need to fuss on cross contamination of ashes. It still remains a dignified way of saying good bye to your pet if the ashes are properly scattered or buried in a respectful location.

The cons: there are no ashes returned. Depending on the provider you have no assurances of what really happens to the ashes from communal cremations. There are no regulatory measures as to what should be done with communal ashes.

The pros for the provider: provides a much needed service to veterinary clinics.  Maximises the efficiency of the retort and reduces cost. There is no potential for mistakes as no ashes are returned.

The cons: causes some wear and tear on retort. Can’t be performed if the retort is too hot. There is little potential for other revenues from this service.

By using the services of Resting Paws you can participate in the scattering of the ashes when it is performed at our Cemetery. When we do a communal cremation, we carefully identify the container that contains the ashes are placed in and know exactly which pets were in that load.

When we do a scattering ceremony we invite the people that expressed an interest to attend this small ceremony. Each willing participant gets a small amount of ashes to scatter from the container that contains the ashes of their pet. They can choose a special area and spread these ashes knowing that somewhere in them is a part of their beloved companion. We also offer the possibility to place a marker on our memory tower in the scatter area. You can also have a clay Paw Print made as a keepsake.

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Pic.1 Scattering ashes from a communal cremation.

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Pic.2 Memory Tower placed in the scatter grounds

Carrying forward with the posts we will provide some tips to ensure that you really receive your pet’s ashes. Keep in mind that unless you were present during the event, these tips are not a 100% guaranteed, however, they can give you some comforting indications. We will also cover checks and balances providers have in place to minimise mistakes, and finally what questions you should ask your Veterinarian about the provider he/she recommends.

What is trust?

Trust is “relying on the integrity or ability of another person”. Notice the emphasis in the definition. Your ability to trust is based on someone else, not you.  It requires the ability to rely on someone else’s character. In any situation, your ability to trust in that person starts with that person.

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