KEEPING CREMATED REMAINS IDENTIFIEDAlways a question for the crematory and for the family of the cremated pet is "Are these the remains of my pet alone?" There are high tech options, such as identification microchips, but these are beyond the cost and resource capabilities of many pet cremation operations. Mike Nicodemus of Holloman-Brown Funeral Home & Lynnhaven Crematory in Virginia Beach, VA (www.hollomon-brown.com) has established a procedure that clearly follows the deceased from death to handing the cremated remains and urn over the family. Mike, who is also President-Elect of CANA (The Cremation Association of North America) says that the ideas can be modified to fit the particular situation of any crematory for humans or pets. Having such a system would be a reassurance to both the crematory and the family members that no mistake has been made in the process. A good synopsis of the Hollomon-Brown procedures can be found in the August issue of American Cemetery. The key to the procedures is a steady, documented set of accountabilites for identification at each step in the process from point of death to handing of the remains to the family.
I encourage all pet crematories to have well documented identification procedures that are strictly followed and include options for the family members to be involved at several points, including viewing of the remains before cremation and the cremation process should they like.
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