Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are more pets cremated or buried today?

A. For several reasons, the majority of pets are cremated today. First, in many urban communities, laws and ordinances make it illegal for owners to bury their pets in the backyard. Now, cremation is an affordable and simple option that often did not exist in the past. Finally, with our society becoming so much more mobile, choosing cremation gives you the ability to take your pet's cremated remains with you if you move to another home. 

Q. Is there only one type of pet cremation?

A. Unlike the human cremation industry, there is very little or no regulations when it comes to pet cremations. Thus, different providers might be using the same terminology but for different types of cremation services. Basically, there are 3 types of pet cremations.

  1. A "Private" cremation is a cremation procedure during which only one animal's remains are present in the cremation chamber during the cremation process and the cremated remains of the pet are to be returned to its owner. This provides you with the greatest peace of mind in knowing the cremated remains are those of your pet.
  2. A "Semi-Private"cremation or also referred to as "Individual" or "Partitioned" is a cremation procedure during which more than one animal's remains are present in the cremation chamber and the cremated remains of specific pets are to be returned to the owner. Each pet will have its own segregated section within the cremation chamber. This is what most non-funeral home pet crematories call a Private Cremation. This is a very common and misleading pet cremation practice that has been happening for decades. Due to a number of factors and by virtue of multiple pets being cremated within the same chamber, active commingling of cremated remains can occur. Pet Passages by Anderson McQueen does not offer this type of service.
  3. A "Communal or Batch" is a cremation procedure where multiple pets are cremated together without any form of separation. These commingled cremated remains are not returned to the owners.

Because of the lack of regulation, it is important for you to ask your pet cremation provider what they mean when they use the terms like "private cremation" or "individual cremation".

Q. What is cremation?

A. This is a process where a pet is placed in a cremation chamber by crematory staff, and using a suitable fuel, typically natural gas, that will create intense heat and flame (1400 – 1800 degrees Fahrenheit) the body of the pet is reduced to basic compounds (calcium compounds). During the cremation process, it may be necessary to open the cremation chamber and reposition the remains of the animal in order to facilitate a complete and thorough cremation. Upon completion of the cremation, all substances are consumed or vaporized, except bone fragments (calcium compounds) and metal other non-combustible materials, as the temperature is not sufficient to consume them. Due to the nature of the cremation process, any possessions or materials, such as collars or tags that are left with the animal and not removed prior to cremation may be destroyed or if not destroyed, will be disposed of by the Crematory in a non-recoverable manner.

Following a cooling period, the cremated remains shall be recovered by manual means, such as brushing, and industry-specific mechanical means, such as vacuuming, in order to retrieve the cremated remains from the cremation chamber. Depending on the cremation option, there may or may not be more commingling/mixing of cremated remains. Active commingling can occur between animals during the cremation and/or retrieval process when multiple animals are cremated together in the same chamber. This type of commingling can be minimized with effective portioning but it is impossible to assert that it can be eliminated entirely. Active commingling cannot, by definition, occur with a private cremation. However, while every effort will be made to avoid commingling, inadvertent or incidental commingling of minute particles of cremated remains from the residues of previous cremations is possible no matter what type of cremation option selected.

After the cremated remains are removed from the cremation chamber, the skeletal remains often will contain recognizable bone fragments. Unless otherwise specified, after the bone fragments have been separated from the other non-combustible material, they will be mechanically processed, pulverized. The process of crushing or grinding may cause incidental commingling of the remains with the residue from the processing of previously cremated remains. These granulated particles of unidentifiable dimensions, which are virtually unrecognizable as animal remains, will then be placed into a designated container based on the type of cremation identified above (Private, Semi-Private or Communal).

Q. Can my veterinarian help me with cremation for my pet?

A. Yes. People typically chose their veterinarians for their heroic life-prolonging or sustaining capabilities. Though many veterinarians have some knowledge of the cremation process, this is not their specialty. However, by using your local trusted funeral director to handle your pet cremation, you can rest assured that you are getting a professional who has been highly trained with much experience when it comes to cremation. So, though your veterinarian has been a trusted advisor to you when it comes to your pet's good health, it only makes sense to seek out the professional assistance of your trusted local funeral director when it comes to your pet’s deathcare needs. In fact, many veterinarians feel this way too and have chosen Pet Passages as their trusted provider.

Q. How do I know I am going to get back my pet's cremated remains?

A. Most pet cremation providers do nothing to answer this often-asked question and in many cases your veterinarian cannot answer this question with confidence either. However, we can guarantee it because we utilize our trademarked Secure Passages pet identification, tracking and chain of custody procedures coupled with our state of the art Pet Passages tracking software. Our Secure Passages is the most accurate and effective tracking procedure available and by using this system, we can provide you with absolute proof that you are receiving back your pet's cremated remains. Furthermore, if you desire, we can facilitate arrangements for you to be present at your pet's cremation for the ultimate peace of mind.

Q. Do I have to purchase a casket for my pet's cremation?

A. No. Often family members will wrap their pet in a favorite blanket or some other personal article of meaning to the pet or family members.

Q. Are all pet crematories alike?

A. No. Most states do not regulate pet crematories. Thus, the quality of their facilities, services and staff varies greatly. What most pet owners don't realize is that the majority of pet cremation providers are not even located in their community. Also, the majority of pet crematories are located in industrial parks or warehouse settings, but not ours. Our pet cremation facility is located adjacent to one of our funeral homes and our human crematory.

Q. How long after my pet's death will it take to receive back the urn?

A. By using Anderson McQueen, a local funeral firm offering pet loss services, you get a much quicker response when your pet dies either at your home or at the Vet's Clinic. We will respond immediately and take your pet into our care right away. This is not the same timeline for the standard pet cremation providers. Most of these standard providers are located faraway, which means, though not by choice, your Veterinarian professional will have to hold your pet at their facilities for upwards of a week until the standard cremation provider makes its next scheduled visit to your community. Then, it may be another week before the urn is ready for you to pick up. Pet Passages by Anderson McQueen will return the urn within 72 hours of the death occurring, bringing you the peace of mind you deserve.

Q. What if my pet dies at home or when my veterinarian is closed?

A. Pet Passages by Anderson McQueen maintains professional staff "on call" 24 hours, every day of the year. We realize that death comes at all hours on any given day. We are ready to respond immediately to take your pet into our care whenever you are ready.

Q. Since there is very little regulation in the pet cremation industry, what should I be doing to make sure that my pet is being treated with respect and dignity?

A. We advise that you ask your Veterinarian, or the Cremation Provider directly if possible, three very important questions:

  • Where is the crematory located? As mentioned above, most families are surprised to learn that their pet is going to be transported several hundred miles away.
  • When will my pet be cremated and then be ready for pickup? Many are shocked to learn that their beloved pet is going to be held in a freezer at the Vet's facility for almost a week before they are picked up by the cremation provider. Then, it is going to be another week before their pet's cremated remains are available for you to take home.
  • What do you mean when you say Private Cremation? As previously discussed, the majority of providers will place up to six or eight pets in the cremation chamber separated by the bricks and call it “private”. Not at Pet Passages by Anderson McQueen, we only cremate one pet at a time just as we would any of yor other beloved family member. 

Q. Do most pet owners choose a "private" or "communal" cremation?

A. Just as cremation has gained in popularity over the last 2 decades, the preference has changed here as well. Fifteen years ago, only about 1 in 4 pet families chose "private cremation" - as most chose not to receive back their pet's cremated remains. Today, that ratio has flipped, as research indicates that today more than 70% of all pet families choosing cremation want their pet's cremated remains back.

Q. How much does cremation cost?

A. The cost of cremation for your pet is based on two items, theweight/size of your pet and the additional services or products you may select. Please visit the tab titled SERVICES & PRODUCTS at the top of this page for this information.

Q. Is an urn required and where do I get one?

A. Many pet cremation providers return the pet cremated remains in a temporary container, often a tin can or cardboard box. However, as a beloved member of your family, we understand the dignity your pet's cremated remains deserve. As such, we return your pet’s remains in a lovely cherry veneer chest urn. Often times many families choose to select an urn that speaks of their pet's life. Visit our on-line Product Gallery for a large assortment of memorial urns, jewelry, garden stones, memory books, and other merchandise.

Contact Information

2201 Dr. MLK St. North
St. Petersburg, FL
Telephone (727) 822-2059
Fax (727) 822-3362

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