This is a tough one – and it is not my intention to disillusion folks who have previously used a Veterinarian to arrange a Pets cremation, but to illustrate how important it is for pet owners to become fully aware of the differences in service between arranging a private pet cremation through an APPCC approved private pet cremation service themselves and in using the cremation provider recommended by their Vet.
The volume of ash generated during an individual cremation clearly depends on the size of the animal cremated, but as a general rule approximately 3% volume by weight will remain and you should expect all this to be returned to you if you have requested and paid for an individual cremation. We recently carried out the cremation of a large German Shepherd and its owner proudly displayed the casket its brother had been returned in when its cremation was arranged through their Veterinarian. This casket could not possibly have contained all their pets remains which would have been the equivalent of two bags of sugar!!
The Chester comes in 3 sizes Small, Medium & Large
Your Vet’s cremation provider can offer you the option of an “individual” cremation with Ashes back. This is clearly an option that most caring pet owners would elect, expecting that their pet will be cremated on its own in the cremator and that all of its remains will be returned – it is here that confusion arises.
“Legal requirements ensure pet crematoria operate under licensing but only as waste or animal disposal sites. There are no legal requirements to carry out cremations in a dignified manner or even to ensure individual cremations are carried out on their own. The guidelines for the regulations allow pet owners to have the ashes of their pet back and infer they should only be that pets ashes. However this is not investigated or confirmed by the inspectors that visit the sites. Yes, they are controlled from an environmental aspect but not as far as a guarantee of service goes” (APPCC)
The onus is on you, the pet owner to make informed decisions about what will happen to your pet after its death and you should press your veterinarian to provide satisfactory answers to the following questions:
WILL MY PET BE KEPT IN A FREEZER?
For some pet owners this is unacceptable. If you leave your pet with your veterinarian it will invariably be frozen until it is collected at some point and transported to a site some distance away.
A private pet cremation service can collect from your Veterinary Surgery within minutes of your pets passing.You can even take your pet to a private crematoria yourself.
Charlies Parlour will not freeze a pet. We have a cool storage facility, but in most cases we would carry out a cremation within 24 hours of its arrival with us.
HAVE YOU VISITED THE CREMATORIA YOU ARE USING FOR INDIVIDUAL CREMATIONS?
Most practices have a long standing arrangement with a cremation provider which offers huge financial inducements to Vets to use their services. If your Vet is recommending a provider one would expect them to have visited it and to have satisfied themselves that the operating standards of this provider will meet their clients expectations.
WILL MY PET BE CREMATED ALONE?
Ask your Vet if they can give you a guarantee that your pet will be cremated on its own and that you will recieve back your pets uncontaminated remains in their entirety. Press them on this point. An APPCC approved private pet cremation service can give this guarantee. It is the main principal of membership.
WHERE WILL MY PET BE GOING?
You may be surprised to discover that your pet may well be sent hundreds of miles away for it’s cremation. There are very few privately run APPCC approved pet crematioria in the UK. Most Veterinarians will use one of the large Pet disposal sites which process the remains of thousands of pets weekly.Charlies Parlour is the only APPCC approved Private Pet Cremation Service in Wiltshire. I am aware of one local Veterinary Practice that sends deceased pets to a company in Leeds for processing.
You may be lucky enough to have a veterinary practice that already uses an APPCC approved cremation provider, and one who puts the interests of their clients above fiancial gain. The APPCC are committed to raising pet owner awareness around this sensitive issue and to encourage Veterinarians to concentrate their efforts in continuing to offer the best services available in Pet Care and treatment, and to leave afterdeath services to those who specialise in them and are regulated to ensure that pet owners recieve the quality of service they expect and are paying for.
When it comes to Pet Cremation it is simply a case of “Buyer Beware”.