Aftercare FAQs

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If you have elected for Fond Farewell to arrange for cremation, your pet will return to my home. Here they will be safely and respectfully held in a climate-controlled environment dedicated just for my angel patients until I can personally hand them over to the crematorium staff to confirm proper aftercare instructions. I have been doing my aftercare hold at my house for years, I promise there is nothing daunting about it for me or my family and hope it brings you comfort that they will be safe with me.

Animal Memorial Service (AMS) is a licensed pet aftercare center that I have worked with since 2015. I know it takes incredible trust to hand your pet over to me, and I know that the compassionate professionals at AMS will complete your farewell experience with dignity. Your pet is assigned a unique identification number that is electronically scanned at multiple points through the aftercare process, offering traceability and transparency. I have done the legwork and have personally toured the facility and seen how they identify and handle the pets in their care per my instructions and your wishes. Perhaps the biggest vouch I can give is that AMS is the aftercare provider that I have entrusted with handling my personal pets.

Animal Memorial Service uses a process called aquamation to cremate your pet. Aquamation is an accepted form of cremation for both humans (such as Desmond Tutu) and pets. This process uses water instead of flame to cremate your pet. I prefer this method because it is a much gentler process that mimics nature’s course, and it is more environmentally friendly than traditional fire cremation (1/10th of the carbon footprint because flame emissions are not produced). Rest assured, you will only get your pet’s cremains returned to you if you elect an individual cremation. If you choose to examine the cremains, you will notice that they are of a finer texture and lighter in appearance than flame cremains. For more information about aquamation, read our dedicated blog post here.
If you wish to have your pet privately cremated by traditional flame cremation, AMS can provide this service at no additional fees. You must let me know before or during the appointment of your wishes so I can ensure that the proper instructions are handed over with your pet.

Within hours of my departure, you will receive an email from the crematorium (please check your spam folder if you do not receive the email within 6 hours). This email will include a link to a portal that is just for your family. In this portal you can review urn choices, customize urn engravings, and select any additional memorial items you desire. Additional payments, if any, will be due directly to the crematorium at time of ordering. This portal will be active for 48 hours after you receive the email. If customizations are not made when the portal closes, your urn will be a beautiful hand carved rosewood urn that will come with a separate plaque with your pet’s first name on it that you can choose to affix. I will review this information at your appointment as well.  All cremains, except for those returned in the scatter tube, are in a resealable bag inside the urn, so you can transfer them out of their urn at any time with ease and dignity. If you would like to review all your urn choices before receiving your personal portal email, please click here (standard urns are included at no additional costs, all other urn costs will be paid directly to AMS in the portal).

In addition to the clay paw print and fur clipping gifts that Dr. Jeni offers to every family, other memorial items are available at additional cost through Animal Memorial Service. These items include a digitized ink pawprint, remembrance pendants, and nose prints. Paw and nose print items such as wine glasses, coffee mugs, and ornaments can be ordered from the digital ink print that AMS provides. If you would like to review all of the memorial items provided by Animal Memorial Service before receiving your personal portal email, please click here and scroll towards the bottom (all listed memorial item costs will be paid directly to AMS in the portal).
Individual cremains will be ready for you within 2 weeks of your appointment. Your options are:
  • Direct pick up from Animal Memorial Service once you receive a phone call letting you know the urn is ready for pick up. AMS is located at 8860 Muraoka Drive in Gilroy, and the office is open for pick up on weekdays 9 am – 5 pm (closed on holidays). AMS requests that you call them before leaving your house at (408) 847-1002 to ensure a smooth pick-up experience.
  • Urns can be shipped directly to your house via UPS. All urns are tracked and require a signature upon delivery. Tracking information will be emailed 24-48 hours before your urn is delivered. Rest assured, there has never been an issue that I have encountered with shipping an urn to a family (or else this would no longer be an option that I offer).
  • For an additional fee in certain areas, I can deliver the urn to your doorstep. Please check if this is an option for your location with our support staff when scheduling your appointment.
Communal cremation means that you desire your pet’s cremains to be spread in nature for you. Pets are aquamated and their remains are delivered to Oceans of Love, an independent organization that lays them to rest in the Pacific Ocean. For more information about Oceans of Love, click here.
If for any reason you would like your pet to go to a different crematorium, Dr. Jeni can still create a fond farewell for your family. Afterwards, your pet will remain with you for final arrangements and transportation. It is best to call the crematorium directly before scheduling your farewell appointment.
If you want to bury your pet in a location other than a pet cemetery, you must research the laws and rules of the municipality yourself. Please know that there are concerns about wildlife and other pets being able to access remains that are not buried deep enough, resulting in accidental poisoning due to barbiturate absorption. Dr. Jeni and Fond Farewell can not offer any advice or counseling due to the complexity and variability in local laws and ordinances.