When the time comes to say goodbye to your favorite pet, there is a new alternative for aftercare that is taking Southern California by storm. Peaceful Pets Aquamation is the environmentally friendly company that now offers a gentle way to send your best friend back into the bosom of the earth.
Designed to be used for dogs, cats and other small pets like birds or ferrets, the process of aquamation is incredibly eco-friendly. Unlike cremation, which uses massive amounts of energy and also creates a myriad list of toxins (including mercury, arsenic, formaldehyde, nickel, and cadmium) that are either released into the air or have to be cremated again into a toxic ash, aquamation uses alkaline hydrolysis, a water-based process that uses 1/20 the energy of cremation.
Aquamation uses no fossil fuels in the twenty-hour process that uses an alkaline bath. Your pet’s remains are returned to you, in an urn of your choosing – and Peaceful Pets even offers biodegradable choices of those.
“I felt it was so much gentler and so much more environmentally friendly that I was just intrigued by it,” explains Malibu resident Sharon Kohler, whose eleven-year-old mastiff Louie passed away in March 2015. “Losing a pet is very hard. The people at Aquamation were wonderful. They treat you like a family and they care so much about this being that has been with you for so long, and that you are devastated by the loss. Just the whole process, everything has been so nice.”
The company sends their special refrigerated van to either your home or your veterinarian’s office to pick up your deceased pet, then transports them to their facility in Newbury Park. Before the aquamation procedure begins, you are welcome (but not required) to visit for a final goodbye.
“His body was all bathed when we got to see him and he looked like a puppy again. It was amazing and it made me feel such closure. I felt really good and that I made a wise decision by choosing this system,” Kohler recalls. “We even got to do a paw print that they send to you later with the remains. It really was a wonderful experience.”
Pricing for the procedure ranges from $150 for small animals up to $350 for dogs 91 pounds and above. The clay paw print is included in that cost, but return shipping is not, nor is the pet pickup charge.
As Jerry Shevick, the company’s CEO, says, “To us, it seems like common sense, as cremation pollutes, aquamation doesn’t; and the cost [for aquamation] is equal to or less than cremation or burial.” Shevick also predicts that aquamation will overtake cremation as the first choice in pet aftercare within the next ten years. Gentle, environmentally sound and already used in hospitals and research laboratories around the world, aquamation does seem to be the wave of the future and Peaceful Pets is definitely riding that wave, helping pet owners in Southern California say goodbye in a eco-friendly way.