Aquamation (also called water-based cremation, alkaline hydrolysis, bio-cremation, green cremation, and flame-less cremation) is an emerging form of body care that is gentler to the environment. Starting in July 2013, Home to Heaven is proud to offer this new process to families in northern Colorado through our sister company Guardian Pet Aquamation. Home to Heaven is a leader in pet end-of-life care, including animal hospice, euthanasia services, and respectful, environmentally-sound body care. Our staff and team of doctors will make all the arrangements for you. Please note that Guardian Pet Aquamation can accomodate pets up to 100 pounds with this system.
How does Aquamation work?
Bodies buried in the earth are degraded by alkaline hydrolysis, expedited by the soil bacteria – a very slow process. The system uses alkaline hydrolysis to essentially accelerate what takes place in natural decomposition. A combination of gentle water flow, temperature, and alkalinity is used to accelerate the natural course of time. At the end of the process, the body has been returned to its natural form, reduced in the water. Remember - our bodies are 65% water to begin with. Similar to cremation, the only solid remains are the mineral ash of the bones. The ash is light sage green in color because it is clean, without carbon discoloration, and retains minerals. 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 (if desired). Aquamation generates a sterile, EPA neutral liquid solution of amino acids, peptides, sugars, and soap that is suitable for release onto the earth. Guardian Pet Aquamation gently applies the remaining nutrients onto Dr. Cooney's farmland in east Loveland. Communal ashes will also be spread on the farm.
Private and communal services are available using aquamation. A communal aquamation means the ashes will not be returned to families. Private aquamation means that your pet's ashes will be returned to you. Private chambers reside within the units providing a complete barrier among individual pets.
Why do we offer Aquamation as our preferred method of bodycare?
• 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.
• Cost is the same as standard flame-based cremation
How do private ashes get returned to families?
The ashes from private water-based cremations will be returned to families along with a certificate of aquamation. These ashes can be picked up from one of our designated local locations or mailed to you. In our north region, families can obtain ashes from Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists in Loveland. In our south region, families obtain ashes from VCA All Pets Hospital in Boulder. Your attending veterinarian will discuss which option best meets your needs. Guardian Pet Aquamation also provides two container options for the return of ashes. Their complimentary container is a lovely rectangular box with decorative paw prints that safely holds all ashes inside. The urn offering is designed for those families that wish to keep the ashes longterm. Please let your attending veterinarian or care coordinator know which option you would prefer.
Complimentary Urn upgrade $50
Can you still choose to use a flame-based crematory?
Absolutely. If there is a local crematory you prefer to work with, just let us know and we will bring your sweetheart 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. We at Home to Heaven find all of them to be kind, courteous, and extremely professional. Let us know your needs and we will accomodate. If your pet is over 100 pounds, we will automatically choose a local crematory to help you as this system rarely accomodates larger than this body size. Of course, special arrangements can always be made.