Before you start there are a few things you need to consider.
You are arranging a service in a sector that is unregulated, has a history of mis-selling and fraud and has many different interpretations of what is meant by a cremation service – both good and bad. Therefore go through everything carefully before making a decision no matter who is offering it to you. Remember, it falls under the Consumer Protection Regulations and must be fully and clearly described.
Take account of the fact that you are likely to be in a distressed state and your judgement may be compromised.
Don’t fall victim to those who try to reassure you without giving you the full facts.
You may not need to ask all the questions but make sure you get the service you want, not the one someone else wants to give you.
“The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations offer protection against traders who are economical with the truth, or miss out key information that you might need to make an informed decision.” To see what you have a right to expect go to the Which website
Arranging Your Pet’s Cremation
If you are arranging a cremation through a third party such as a vet, funeral director or pet funeral arranger then they should have written details of all the points here. If not you may prefer to deal directly with the crematorium or look elsewhere.
Remember a third party may be using a company that suits them. The price you are charged may be very different to the one they pay. Low prices generally indicate poor handling and procedures but you will not know the cost price , only the one you are being charged.
Third parties often require other services to be attached such as waste collections which are carried out with the pets. This may not meet the expectations you have.
Questions You May Like to Ask
Who do you use for the cremation of my pet?
Are the prices I am charged the same as if I go to them? Do you break down the fees into the cremation/burial fee and your own administration fees? How will my pet be stored? Can I see the Storage facilities? When will the collection be made?
Collection and Handling
There will be a number of alternatives for the collection of your pet. You may have a single collection from your home or vet or you may be happy to wait until a number of pets are collected which may reduce the cost to you. Ask about the services they offer. However, often when more than one pet is collected the handling becomes very basic with bags of animals piled into vans, sometimes with waste. Make sure you know how your pet will be handled before agreeing to a collection.
You may prefer to take your pet to the crematorium. You may be able to attend the cremation or have it carried out at a specific time and take the ashes home with you. Expect there to be an extra fee for this as it has to fitted in to a busy crematorium’s work flow. Ask what will happen and what you will be allowed to see.
You may wish to know what will happen to your pet while it waits for the cremation. Again the handling can be very basic with pets piled into wheelie bins or placed on top of one another in freezers.
Always get a clear statement of the fees including collection, cremation or burial, casket or urn, attendance, storage, cemetery fees and anything else to be added.
Questions You May Like to Ask
Can my pet be collected from my vet or my home? Can I take my pet to the crematorium ?
How and when will the collection be done?
Are there any options for different collection times or methods?
What sort of reception area is there?
Can I spend some time with my pet? When will the cremation take place?
How will my pet be kept before the cremation? Can I see where my pet will be kept?
The Cremation of Your Pet – The process should follow this sequence
Your pet should be placed on its own into a cremation chamber free of any remains of other pets. Make sure it is a single chamber with no shelving where other pets’ remains may fall in. There must be some form of identification that stays with your pet throughout the process.
The cremation is carried out until only white bone fragments remain. Make sure your pet will remain in that chamber during the full cremation process. Ensure the machine is designed with easy access so that all remains can be fully removed.
The remains are left to cool and then removed from the chamber by meticulously raking and brushing. The chamber should be completely cleaned of all visible remains.
They are then processed to a fine ash. Some types of processor leave substantial remains in the machinery and they must be brushed out carefully after each use otherwise there may be significant loss or mixing.
They are then put into your choice of casket or urn or may go to a memorial area. The whole process will depend on the size of the pet but will usually be between one and a half and five hours.
Questions You May Like to Ask
Do I have a full description of the way the procedure is carried out? Can I be sure no other pets are placed into the chamber or added before my pet’s cremation has been completed? Can I inspect the crematorium beforehand? Can I see the cremation and any other part of the process if I wish? What are my choices of urn or casket and what is the cost? When will my ashes be ready? Can I collect or will they be delivered? Can I have the ashes the same day?
Remember it is your pet and you have the right to have the service you want. So take control and if you do not get the answers you want then look at another service.
The Association of Private Pet Cemeteries has members all over the UK, Europe and other parts of the world.
All are committed to following a Code of Practice that ensures you get the right service for you. Some have now been independently inspected to verify this. Click here to see details of the Association Consumer Code