Whether it's old age or a fatal condition, it's sad to say, but our furry friends will eventually pass away. When that does happen, many are left with questions about pet cremation. There are options out there based on what you want and how much you're willing to pay.
After the heartbreaking loss of a pet, or the realization that a pet is near death, it is a challenge to have to think about next steps, and what to do with your pet’s physical remains. Your veterinarian can likely help steer you through some of the options, as well as any local laws regarding burial or disposal of your pet. One option is pet cremation, which offers you the opportunity to have your pet’s ashes to keep, scatter, or bury. Find out about how cremation works, the various pet cremation methods, and the costs entailed.
How Pet Cremation Works
During cremation, the animal’s body is placed within a small, enclosed space, which is heated to a very high temperature. With heat as high as 1500 to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, the time required to cremate your pet is generally mere hours. The result will be ashes and bone fragments. If your pet has any metal parts within their body, such as plates or screws from surgery, these items will be visible at this point and can be returned to you by request. Next, the remains of your pet post-cremation are ground up, resulting in a fine gray ash, which is placed carefully in a plastic bag.
These ashes can often be respectfully disposed of at the crematorium itself -- many of them have a memorial grounds for this purpose. Alternately, you can keep the ashes, and either store them within a decorative urn, bury them or sprinkle them somewhere.
The costs for a pet are determined by a few different factors, including where you live, the weight of your pet, how you want your pet cremated, and the cost of an urn if you want a decorative one. Costs are determined by the size and weight of your pet. Some crematoriums may also charge for transportation of your pet’s remains, as well as for the return of the ashes.
The Three Types of Cremation
There are three basic types of cremation available, and your decision about which to choose would most likely be influenced by your intent with the ashes. The cremation process can be:
Private - During a private cremation, your pet is alone in the cremation space, which is carefully cleaned between use. This option is often a good one if you plan to keep your pet’s ashes since you can be assured that the ashes you have are only from your pet.
Communal - In a communal cremation, several animals are cremated at once, and their remains are combined. This may make sense if you are not taking your pet’s ashes with you.
Partitioned - With a partitioned cremation, several pets are cremated at one time, but efforts are made to keep space between them so that each pet has distinct ashes. Some co-mingling of the ashes remains inevitable.
Making Your Decision
Although it can be a difficult conversation, it’s very important that you inquire about the types of cremation provided, and figure out which one makes the most sense for you, based on cost and what you want to do with your pet’s ashes. At some crematoriums, it is an option for you and your family and friends to be present during the process. Your vet can recommend reputable services, and make sure you have weighed all of your options properly during this difficult and emotional time, as you deal with both practicalities and sorrow over the loss of your pet.
Step 1: Contact Us
The first step following a death is to contact us at (207) 793-8558. Our team is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so please do not hesitate to call after business hours if necessary. Regardless of the time or circumstance, our team is committed to answering all of your questions and guiding you through the early stages of the arrangement process - including transfer of your loved one into our care and agreeing upon a go-forward plan for making arrangements over the coming days.
Step 2: Information Gathering
The first 24 hours following a death can be emotionally exhausting. As an added convenience, we have provided an online tool to allow you to begin the planning process in the comfort of your own home - without the need to meet with us right away.
As you work through the guide, it is important to remember not to worry about getting everything done right away. Take your time and just do your best – our team at Benson Brook is here to help you complete the rest. Using our simple Preparing for Arrangements Guide, you can collect and record important information you will need for your meeting with our team in advance, as well as submit photos you may like to use for your pet's memorial.
Step 3: Meet with us!
During your visit, it is our goal to make you feel welcome and comfortable.
At Benson Brook, we believe in the value of personalized cremation services. To help us guide you through the arrangement process, we would appreciate the opportunity to learn about your loved one and your family through conversation with you. These discussions are critically important in helping us provide the best possible service for your family.
Step 4: Plan the Service
From traditional to modern – and everywhere in-between - there are many options available for today’s families.
Our experienced team will help you learn about these options and allow you to make decisions that best suit your family’s needs.
Continuing with our commitment to transparency, you will be presented with a detailed, written estimate before signing off on arrangements for your loved one.
Step 5: Select Merchandise
Cremation merchandise selection will depend largely on the service you have planned.
Using our online catalog, or visiting our selection room at Benson Brook, we invite you to browse the wide variety of options available. It is our goal to offer a wide variety of personal choices to suit the needs and budget of any family, including:
We are here for you and your beloved pet! Our mission is to provide you with the absolute best cremation services available in New England. Our services stand head and shoulders above the rest!
Don't know where to start? Contact us: (207) 793-8558
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Our facility is located in Parsonsfield along the Maine/New Hampshire border in the western foothills of Maine. Our service area covers all of Maine and New Hampshire and we occasionally get calls from Massachusetts and Vermont.
We invite you to stop by and visit us anytime, but please give us a call first to make sure that we are accepting visitors.