Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I do if my pet dies at home?
Until decisions and preparations can be made, place your pet in the coldest part of your home.  Put plastic down and then newspaper or a blanket to place your pet on.  Cover with another towel or blanket.

What if my pet dies while at the Veterinarian?
There is no hurry.  Most clinics will have a storage facility where your pet can be kept for a day or two.

Can I see my pet again?
If your pet dies at the veterinary hospital, you may view your pet there.  If the choice is utilize a pet cemetery, arrangements can be made to have a proper viewing prior to cremation or burial.

Can I take my pet’s body home?
Your pet belongs to you.  You do have the right to take your pet home.

What options are available to me at time of loss of my pet?
Burial in a pet cemetery, cremation, home burial (where allowed by law), or disposal service.

Burial in a pet cemetery: Options vary but may include private or communal burial services.  Range of services and pricing widely varies depending upon your preferences.

Mausoleum burial is where a casketed body is placed in a crypt.   This is more expensive and not available in every pet cemetery.

Cremation services are offered both on an individual or a group basis.  Costs vary and any IAOPCC member will quotes prices via telephone.

Home Burial varies depending upon the regulations in your area.  Caskets and memorial markers are usually available for home burial from a pet cemetery.

What is cremation?
Cremation is the process of reducing matter by exposing it to intense heat.  The body is reduced to skeletal remains or cremains.

Is a casket required for cremation?
No.

Is there a memorial service available for cremation?
Arrangements can be made with the pet cemetery to allow viewing and/or a memorial service prior to the cremation.

Can a cremation be witnessed by the pet owner?
Yes.  Rules of the individual cemetery may vary.

Is embalming necessary when cremating? 
No, embalming is the process that preserves s the body and is not necessary for cremation.

Can I be positive that I have my pet’s cremains?
Each pet receives an identification tag immediately upon receipt at the cemetery.  This tag stays with the pet form the time the pet is received until the cremains are returned to the owner.

What is an urn?
An urn is a receptacle especially made to hold the cremated remains.  Urns are made in many styles and materials.

What is a columbarium?
A columbarium is an arrangement of niches erected for the sole purpose of accepting cremains, which are usually contained in urns.

What is a cremation or scatter garden?
A special section of land, set aside for the burial or scattering of cremains.

Is it legal to scatter cremains?
Most areas have no restrictions on this.  When in doubt, contact your local authorities.

Can I prepare in advance?
It is always wise to prepare for your pets death in advance.  It allows you to make better choices, alleviates stress at a very emotional time, and also allows you to prepare financially.

Is it normal to grieve over the loss of a pet?
It is just as normal to grieve over the loss of a pet, as it is to grieve over the loss of a human.  Saying your final good-byes and planning your pets after-life care is an important part of accepting the loss.

How long is a normal grieving period?
There is no normal set time for grief.  Different people react in different ways.  Don’t’ be ashamed or try to hide your grief.  The longer grief is denied, the longer you will grieve.

Are there pet grief counseling groups available?
Yes, your local IAOPCC cemetery will know about the groups in your area.