Final Decisions: Aftercare Post Goodbye by Pat Waters, CSR

One last decision we have to make after our pets pass away is aftercare. It is against the bylaws in most communities to bury your pet in your backyard no matter what size. There is ultimately 3 choices for aftercare. You can have your pet buried at a pet cemetery, there are a few in southern Ontario. The one closest to North Town Veterinary Hospital is in Ancaster. Arrangements are made through the cemetery and transportation does have to be arranged by yourself. Our animal clinic professionals can help you with the details for contacting a cemetery that is right for you.

Another option is sending your pet for cremation and this leaves you two choices: communal and private cremation. For our cremation needs at our Brampton animal hospital, we entrust Gateway Pet Memorial Services located in Guelph. Communal cremation which your pet is sent for cremation and put in the crematorium with other pets means you do not get your pet’s ashes back. Once cremated, the remains are forwarded to the pet cemetery for internment in a communal burial plot. The other option supplied by the crematorium is private cremation. As it indicates, your pet is cremated individually and you get the ashes returned to you in a urn of your choice. Included in the price of the cremation, your choice of a blue or tan ceramic urn with a ribbon around the lid portion with your pets name etched on it or a cedar box type urn with your pets name etched on the top. The crematorium does offer other choices varying in price –choices are many– Bio degradable urns for you to bury somewhere special, to wooden boxes, in cedar, walnut or oak, some with picture frames to insert your favorite picture, to brass, ceramic. There are so many to choose from. The crematorium also offers jewelry that you can have some of your beloved pet’s ashes put into have them near you always.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 3.47.14 PM

With either a communal or private cremation choice, you also have the option of the crematorium taking an impression of one of your pet’s paws to have as a keepsake. You can receive the paw print in clay or have it painted in a number of different colors.

At North Town, we have a “Comfort Room” that is a private, quiet room so you can spend that precious remaining time with your loved one and make your choices.



Visitation and viewings are also offered by the crematorium, an appointment must be made directly with them for these options. You can see all the options on the Gateway web site Once you have made your decision and said your goodbyes, your pet will be entrusted to us to be picked up by the crematorium. If you have requested a private cremation or paw prints, they will be returned to North Town usually in 7 days unless a special urn or engraving has been requested; these can take a bit longer possibly up to two weeks. Once the urns or paw prints are returned to us, we will contact you to pick up your beloved pet at your convenience.

We get asked on some occasions “How do I know it is my pet being returned to me?” I can only answer this with, all of us at North Town have entrusted Gateway Pet Memorial Services with our own 4 legged family members and at no time have we had any reason to think they were not treated with dignity and respect and being returned to us.

To those that have left us:

I shall see beauty

                                                                        But none to match your living grace

                                                                        I shall hear music

                                                                        But none as sweet as the droning song with which you loved me

                                                                        I shall fill my days

                                                                        But I shall not, cannot forget

                                                                        Sleep soft , dear friend

                                                                                                             Michael Joseph