Families today frequently choose cremation when their pet dies; however, there is often confusion among families, veterinarians and even cremation providers surrounding the definitions of the various options available for cremation and the procedures used in each.
The Pet Loss Professionals Alliance (PLPA), a group of more than 150 pet loss providers and related businesses, has released "Definitions and Standards for the Cremation of Companion Animals" to promote uniformity and standardization in pet cremation.
Developed by the PLPA Standards and Ethics Committee, the document defines "private cremation," "partitioned cremation" and "communal cremation" and provides guidelines for procedures on each. The terms are defined as follows:
- 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 animal’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, including conditions in the cremation chamber, co-mingling of cremated remains will occur.
- Communal cremation: A cremation procedure where multiple animals are cremated together without any form of separation. Cremated remains are not returned to owners.
The complete document can be downloaded here.