Why We Started Family Pet Mortuary
Rob's TestimonialAs a veterinarian of 20 years, I have had my share of euthanasia experiences. But 20 years still did not prepare me for the death of my favorite dog.
Rosie, my 11-year-old German shorthair, had terminal cancer. Previous treatment was no longer helping, and she was starting to suffer. It was time to let her go. I couldn't perform the euthanasia on my own dog so I had Dr. Doug Marks perform the procedure. It was difficult, yet I was at peace. She was no longer suffering. It's what happened next that really changed my life.
I had my staff prepare her body as we have prepared other pets' bodies in the past. They placed her in a black, plastic garbage bag and applied a sticker with her name on the plastic bag. Then they put her in a freezer on top of frozen, dead animals that were euthanized before she was. Later, throughout the week, other dogs and cats were stacked on top of Rosie's body. She was kept in the freezer nearly a week before a pick-up truck transferred her on top of other deceased pets to the place of cremation. What if the sticker fell off? How would I know that I was getting my Rosie's ashes back? These questions raced in my mind because stickers have fallen off in the past.
Emotionally, I felt she deserved better "after care" than this, and I wanted assurance that I was getting her ashes back. So I started to design a better process. I stopped the black plastic bags and went to a thick FDA & USDA compliant polyethylene bag. I stopped stacking piles of bodies on top of one another and went to a respectful cardboard casket. To stop the possibility of misidentifying pets or losing a pet's I.D. sticker, I created a system called Assured I.D. (Before a pet is picked up at the hospital, a metal tag with a personalized number is assigned to the pet. This tag never leaves the pet and is returned when the owner receives the pet's ashes back. You can compare the tag number with the number on the authorization form to assure you that these are your pet's ashes). I also developed a GPS tracking barcode that assigns a barcode to your pet, and through the 3G-network lets us know where your pet is at all times.
And last, I created a paper trail that checks your pet's identification and cremation needs at your veterinarian's hospital, the day of arrival at the crematorium, the time of cremation, and the minute the ashes arrive back at your house or your veterinarian's hospital.
With all this, you can have the confidence and the guarantee that your pet's ashes are your pet's ashes. I am very pleased to offer you and your veterinarian a new method for the aftercare of your pet; one which will bring care, dignity and respect to all pets.
Dr. Rob Santos, DVM