The veterinarians and staff at Choice Aftercare are proud to offer a gentler, environmentally friendly alternative to conventional cremation. Water-based cremation (also called Aquamation, Alkaline hydrolysis, Bio-cremation or Green cremation) is an old form of body care that is recently re-emerging as it is gentler to the environment. Choice Aftercare was the first licensed small business aquamation facility for pets in California. How does water-based cremation work?
With typical burial, bodies that are buried in the earth are degraded by alkaline hydrolysis, expedited by the soil bacteria – a very slow process. Aquamation uses alkaline hydrolysis to accelerate natural decomposition. A combination of gentle water flow, temperature, and minerals are used to decompose the body. Similar to fire cremation, the only solid remains are the mineral ash of the bones (usually 20% more than with fire). The ash is lighter in color because it is clean, without carbon discoloration. Because the bone and ash needs to go through drying time, a day or two more is needed before ashes can be returned to families. Aquamation mimics the process that occurs naturally when a body is buried, accelerating the decomposition. Aquamation is currently approved for use in 11 states to process human remains and many veterinary schools have used the technology for decades.
Why do we offer water-based cremation?
- Gentle & respectful process
- Zero emissions of harmful greenhouse gases
- Low energy consumption
- 1/10 the carbon footprint than flame-based cremation
- 20% more ashes returned for families who request them
- They are 100% clean, disease and pollutant free.
Based on the above, we will default to using aquamation unless fire cremation is requested.
Can you still choose to use a flame-based crematory?
Absolutely. We have a contract with a local fire crematorium that we work with very closely. If there is a local crematory you prefer to work with, just let us know and we may be able to assist in transporting your pet there on your behalf. While we prefer to use our environmentally-friendly alternative, some of you have long-standing relationships with crematories you have used in the past and we respect those relationships.
White/Hemp Earthurn with hand etched wooden heart nameplate.(Our standard urn)This durable and attractive Earthurn is produced from the bark of the mulberry tree using an ancient technique that allows the bark of the tree to be harvested without destroying the tree. In fact, the tree continues to thrive and grow. The resulting textured paper is dried in the sun before being used to create the urns. This urns is suitable for scattering, biodegradable burial or the storage of cremated remains. No trees are cut down to produce the Earthurn biodegradable urns. Since they are crafted by hand from natural and sustainable materials, each may vary slightly in size, shape and appearance. Inside each Earthurns is a water-soluble bag, making the entire unit biodegradable and earth friendly.
Artisan Made Cedar Lockbox:**Carefully handcrafted by a local artisan, our cedar lockboxes may be substituted for the Earthurn shown above. This urn comes complete with an ornamental brass finished lock. Add an engraved brass finished nameplate for a small additional fee ($15 upgrade fee for brass-like nameplate).
Artisan Made Cedar Picture Urn:**Our beautiful Cedar Picture Urn is available as an upgrade upon request. You can insert a picture of your beloved friend into the frame on the front of the urn without opening the urn. However, your loved ones remains are secured inside the urn and easily accessible if the need arises. ($80 upgrade fee)
**Please note, there are natural variations in the wood used to craft the cedar urns.
Solid Acacia Wood Heart-Shaped Cremation Urn with a Satin Finish:Beautifully crafted, opens at the base and secured with four brass screws. Dimensions: 7″ L x 7″ W x 2.75″ H.
Solid Acacia Wood Heart-Shaped Cremation Urn with a Satin Finish EngravedBeautifully crafted, opens at the base and secured with four brass screws. Dimensions: 7″ L x 7″ W x 2.75″ H.
Slate Finished Paw Print Brass Urn:Securely closes with threaded lid. Stands 8.25" $125 upgrade. $150 with Engraving
Beautiful Brass Urn:Beautiful brass urn in matte silver-gray with yellow brass cat design. Securely closes with a threaded lid. Felt-lined base.
Dimensions: 4" H x 4" L x 4" W, $100 upgrade. (Cannot be engraved)
Wooden Cat Urns:Beautiful all wood sleeping cat urns. Available in your choice of colors as shown. Approximate dimensions: 6¾ x 4 inches. $125 upgrade.
Stainless Steel Pendant Urn with Chain:Dimensions: 1" L x 3/4" W x 1/4" D. $50
Stainless Steel Heart Pendant Urn with Chain:1 1/4" L x 3/4" W x 1/4" D $50
Key Chain and Necklace Urns:Pendant urn to be added to a keychain or necklace (keychain or necklace not included). $30
Stainless Steel Cat Urn with Chain1.18" H x 0.70" W x 0.25" D $50
Stainless Steel Always In My Heart Bangle Urn7.78" x 0.30" Fits most wrists $50
Other Aftercare Products
Engraved Wood Paw PrintsYour pet's paw print is engraved on an alder wood disc. The image is kept on file for 1 year.