What is a communal cremation?

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Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra –my cat died last week and I took her to the vet. I choose to have her cremated. She said she would have communal cremation. What does that mean? I was so upset at the time that I didn't ask but it has been worrying me.

Ann Y. – Seattle, WA

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email Ann. When a pet dies – there are generally given several options for caring for the body. One of the options is cremation. When an owner does not want the pet's ashes back – they are generally communally cremated. This simply means that more than one pet may be cremated at the same time and you will not get your pets ashes back. If you elect to have your pets ashes returned to you, then your pet will be cremated individually so that you can be sure to get your pets ashes back.

This is the most common option that I see in practice. Don't worry.

Regards,

Dr. Debra

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