How do I know I get my pets' cremains back?
The number one question we answer is:
“How do I know it is my Pet I’m getting back?”
When your pet passes away, either at your home or at a veterinary office, Good Shepherd begins our Chain of Custody when we are contracted by you or your veterinarian to perform your pet’s cremation.
Chain of Custody is a standard term used to define the method of how something works from beginning to end. Below is a diagram for your review. If you prefer the long explanation, keep reading…
Good Shepherd uses a computer tracking system called PETS©. This is a system built and designed exclusively for Good Shepherd. It was created to replace the tried and true tracking system used for years by Good Shepherd. The benefit to you is you have the ability to track your pet through phone calls and or an email.
When your pet is removed from the veterinarian’s office you receive confirmation that we have your pet and we will soon begin the cremation process. If you do not wish to know when your pet was picked up or when she was returned, you can request us not to contact you. If you did not get a phone call or email it is because of only two reasons; your veterinarian requested you not be contacted by us or you did not give us your phone number and or email. Our suggestion is to request your veterinarian to include this information at the time of the euthanasia.
Your veterinarian does not perform the cremation. Your veterinarian is in the “health care” business; we are in the “death care” business. Our responsibility is to you. We want you to receive the proper care you deserve for your companion; this is all we do and why we believe we are better suited to provide to you the professional level of service your veterinarian can not offer.
When your veterinarian enters your information into our computer a tag is generated and attached to your pet. Think “toe tag”. When completed, a field representative from Good Shepherd is notified immediately by email on their smart phones. Then we act on the notification!
Good Shepherd arrives at your home or to the veterinarian’s office to make the removal. The field representative uses their cell phone (Blackberry®), to verify the pet information and take your pet to the crematory. This is when you get the email explaining who we are and when we will be performing the cremation.
No other cremation service can offer you this level of service because no other cremation service has PETS©. By using today’s technology we strive to give you options to our service that you have never had before. We ask if you want a clay paw or a clip of hair, or you want us to remove the collar or add a favorite blanket or toy. Once we start the cremation we cannot offer this service to you for obvious reasons.
We weigh your pet on certified scales when your pet is “checked in” at the crematory because we charge for the cremation based on weight. Some veterinarians bill you for our service; some want us to do the billing; either way you must be billed for the correct service you requested. Right?
The “toe tag” has a barcode printed on it. It is scanned and the weight of your pet is verified. We then wait to hear from you to make sure you are aware of the services available to you.
What if you requested not to have your pet’s ashes returned; but you returned home from the veterinarian and changed your mind? Who would you contact? What if you wanted the collar but you forgot to tell the veterinarian to remove it? What would you do if you wanted a clip of hair but did not mention that to the veterinarian? Is it too late? Now we can offer to you this service because you are contacted and informed.
If you want your pet cremated as soon as we take custody and do not want any of these services you just call us and tell us you are ready for us to begin the process.
On the following day, if we do not hear from you we begin the cremation process.
Each return pet is given an identification tag when it is cremated. Non-return cremations do not receive the identification tag. Instead, they are given a tracking number that tells us when and where the pet was cremated.
The identification tag is placed in the heat sealed bag along with the ashes. Then they are placed in the urn of your veterinarians’ choice or yours.
Along with the urn each cremation is returned to you with a cremation certificate. This is a legal document because it is notarized.
If your pet is returned to your veterinarian’s office, at that time you will receive our last email and or phone call to inform you that your pet’s cremation is complete and your pet is ready for you to pick up.
That concludes our “Chain of Custody”. We perform all of these steps ourselves and never “farm out” your pet to be cremated by someone other than Good Shepherd.
If you wish to speak to someone at Good Shepherd regarding your pet and the cremation process, we can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org , or by phone at: 1866-332-3738.