Crematory Due Diligence Checklist
How to choose a Crematory Provider
Visit the Crematory
- A reputable crematory will allow visitation at any time. Having to “schedule” an appointment doesn’t allow for the opportunity to see what organically happens at the business.
- Ask to see inside the freezers. How are the animals being held? Are you comfortable with how this process is handled?
- Ask to see the animals waiting in line to be cremated to see how the bodies are being held.
- Ask to see how they are managing the chain-of-custody tracking of the bodies so there are no mix-ups.
- Ask to see the paw print/fur clipping process and tracking.
- How are the urns displayed?
- Is there a proper visitation area?
- How would a witness cremation be facilitated?
- Ask to see the packaging area.
- Remember, the facility is a cremation business, so it will not be completely free of smells.
- However, are there odors that transcend into the business in other unpleasant ways?
- Ask to see how animals are transported and what the transportation vehicles look like.
- Is the facility clean? Free of bloodstains? Are there blankets, towels, and random elements just laying around?
What does the Chain of Custody Paperwork look like?
- Does it specifically define the types of cremation being done?
- Does it allow for the authorization of the cremation process to be signed off by the owner of the pet?
- Does it specify what will happen to ashes that are not retrieved within a specified amount of time?
What about Contracts?
- Are you comfortable with the terms?
- Do the terms allow for the family to decide what they want to do with their pet (which is their property)?
What type of Cremations are performed?
- Private cremation: A cremation procedure during which only one animal’s body is present in the cremation unit during the cremation process.
- Partitioned cremation: A cremation procedure during which more than one pet’s body is present in the cremation chamber and the cremated remains of specific pets are to be returned. Due to a number of factors and by virtue of multiple pets being cremated within the same unit at the same time, active commingling of cremated remains will occur.
- Communal cremation: A cremation procedure where multiple animals are cremated together without any form of separation. These commingled cremated remains are not returned to their owners. What is done with the ashes that will not be returned to a family?
Are you comfortable with how pets are taken into the care of the Crematory?
- Will they allow for other options, such as pet caskets, upgraded body bags, or blankets only to hold the pet until cremation?
What are other people saying about the Crematory?
- Read the Crematory’s reviews on google, yelp, social media and other platforms.
What does your gut tell you?
- If your natural instincts leave you feeling good about the Crematory, then it is probably good!