Companion animals are workmates, protection, servants and surrogate children. When they cross the Rainbow Bridge (always too soon), grieving humans are left with some hard choices. Bury Fido in the backyard under his favorite tree? Have him cremated and bury the ashes? Scatter the ashes? Bury him in a pet cemetery? What if Fido is a Pomeranian? What if he’s a St. Bernard?
Unlike saying goodbye to Uncle Henry, saying goodbye to Fido (or Whiskers, Wilbur or Secretariat) has a range of costs depending not only on size, but type of cremation if that is the chosen option.
Where humans are cremated one at a time; pets (especially smaller ones) may be cremated communally (all together); segregated (several at a time but in individual compartments to keep the ashes separate); or individually. Each level of individuation results in an increase in cost. For example, if you used Veterinary Referral Cremation Services in Ontario, Canada- a 50 pound dog would be $150 communally; $400 for a segregated; and $500-$600 individually. This includes picking up the animal from the vet, and returning it in a basic urn. Viewing of the cremation would be an additional $150.
Other services in the Ottowa area include Eternal Companions in Rigaud, where prices range from $195-$400, depending on size; and includes pick-up from the vet and delivery back to same; home delivery is also available for $75 more. Or for an additional charge you can hold a service or reception in the memorial room.
Veterinarian Robert Hobart has created a Memorial Gazebo in a beautiful, tranquil setting by the Ottowa River with a ‘scatter area’ for communal cremations from his Pembroke crematorium. He warns that some crematoriums use communal cremains as fertilizer, or just send them to landfills for disposal.
Additionally, Nature’s Way, Lakeview Pet Cemetery and Oakland Cemetery offer plots for sale as Fido’s final resting place.