End of Life: Your rights as a pet owner:
When should you start thinking about your pets’ aftercare?
Ideally you should have an idea what kind of service you would like before your pet gets sick or has a medical Emergency.
When your pet is getting older think about the cost of Veterinary Care towards the end of your pets’ life and at this point it is a good idea to start researching aftercare options.
What happens at the Veterinary Clinic?
Prior to your pet being euthanized your Veterinarian should ask you to sign a consent form. On this form there should also be options for aftercare. One of these options should be offering you to take your pet with you once it is euthanized.
Some clinics try and pressure their clients to use their aftercare service provider. If you decide to use someone else they might tell you that they will make an “exception and allow” you to contact the service provider of your choice. However, you are the pets’ owner and it is your decision what will happen next. You can request that the clinic hold your pet until you can make a decision that is right for you and your family.
There are two major aftercare providers that mostly cater to Veterinary Clinics (Gateway in Guelph and VRCS in Pembroke).
Two others cater to pet owners directly (Eternal Companions in Rigaud and Resting Paws Cemetery & Crematorium Inc. in Ottawa).
In addition there is also a broker in North Gower, who sends the pets to VRCS for cremation.
Resting Paws Cemetery & Crematorium Inc. is the only aftercare service provider with a Crematorium and Cemetery in Ottawa. We work closely with our clients to make sure the aftercare service of their choice is carried out according to their wishes.
Contact the different service providers and/or your Veterinary Clinic and ask them the following questions:
1. What options do you offer for aftercare?
– Private Cremation
– Semi-Private Cremation (may also be referred to as individual cremation or ash return),
– Communal Cremation (no ashes returned, may also be referred to as group cremation)
– Ash burial
– Full body burial
– Tree sponsorship
Resting Paws offers full cremation services, burial services and also tree sponsorships. All these services are explained under the Services tab on our website.
2. What happens to the ashes from a communal cremation?
At Resting Paws we identify the ashes from the communal cremations clearly by communal cremation numbers and they are scattered in our Cemetery. We invite pet owners out to be part of a small ceremony followed by the scattering of the ashes.
3. If I choose a burial what happens in the winter months?
If you decide on burial and the cemetery is closed for winter Resting Paws offers storage options to clients.
4. Do your fees include pick-up at home or a Veterinary clinic?
Resting Paws offers free pick-up service at home or any Veterinary Clinic within 30 km of the home office.
5. How soon after I call can my pet be picked up?
If the pet passed away at home Resting Paws can be there within the hour. If the pet is at a Veterinary Hospital Resting Paws contacts the hospital to coordinate pick up with hospital hours.
6. Can I bring my pet to you?
You have the option to bring your pet to Resting Paws. Many pet owners feel they want to look after their pet for as long as possible and prefer to bring the pet to Resting Paws. Please call ahead.
7. Does the price quoted include the urn?
Resting Paws prices for cremation services quoted on the website include urn choices (except for pets less than 2 lbs.)
8. Can I be present during cremation? If yes, what is the charge?
Resting Paws offers witnessing of the semi-private or private cremation of your pet free of charge (please see website for conditions)
9. Can I pre-arrange the aftercare of my choice?
Resting Paws offers pre-arrangements for the service of your choice, keeping in mind that full payment has to be received before the service is provided.
Your pet passed away at home and it is the middle of the night..what should you do?
Place your pet on a blanket with something that can soak up any bodily fluids under the back half of your pet and tuck in the legs as much as possible. Wrap the blanket around your pet tightly.(This will make it easier to place bigger pets on the stretcher and smaller pets in our basket) . If your pet weighs more than 35 lbs.put it in a cool place (basement/garage floor for bigger pets) and place bags of ice around the pet (in summer time).If you have a small pet and you are comfortable doing so, place your pet in the freezer.If the freezer is not an option follow the same steps as for a larger pet. Call us in the morning..we are usually up by 6:30 a.m. and we will make arrangements for pick up or if you choose drop-off of your pet.