What is Aquamation?

Aquamation is the pet-related trade name for a process called Alkaline Hydrolysis. There are two main components of an Aquamation service, water and alkali. The alkali Heavenly Paws uses for Aquamation are all around us everyday in our food, common household items, and medicine. More importantly, alkali are the series of minerals in our earth's soil that help our body break down upon a natural burial (a natural process called hydrolysis). There is a gentle flow created in the alkali bath over the pet's body yeilding the same ash you would receive after flame-based cremation mechanisms.


The key differences between Aquamation and cremation is, Aquamation uses 95% less energy, operates at 200º F vs. 1600-2000ºF, releases no carbon emissions nor contributions to climate change, and returns up to 20% more of your beloved's ashes.


Watch this video to learn more about the Aquamation Service: Alkaline Hydrolysis Overview

How can I be sure I am getting MY pet's ashes back?

We utilize our "PAWS" Tracking System to ensure you are returned your pet's ashes. Each pet receiving Individual Aquamation service is issued a Heavenly Paws numbered stainless steel tag at the time of pick-up at your home, arrival at our office or at your veterinarian's office. The stainless steel tag stays with your pet at all times throughout our care. Strict quality controls are followed each step of the way. When you opt for an Individual Aquamation, the steel PAWS ID tag and Certificate of Aquamation with the same PAWS Tracker ID number you are issued on your pet's release form will be returned.

Can I Pre-Plan for My Pet's Passing?

Yes, Heavenly Paws knows it is dificult to think about, but we encourage all pet parents to have a plan in place for their pet's passing. It is too often we are asked to care for pets that were too young to cross the Rainbow Bridge and too many of our pet parents say they wish they had planned ahead. Having a plan will help prepare you for one of the most difficult times of your life. A time when you should be remembering a life well lived and not burdened with the hassle of making aftercare arrangements. We offer the opportunity to complete a simple form to get your wishes on file with your veterinarian and Heavenly Paws. Heavenly Paws offers 3 pre-planning options:

  1. You may choose to pre-pay in full more than 48-hours prior to your pet's passing and receive a 10% discount on your preferred Aquamation service and select memorial items.
  2. You may choose to setup a 2-12 month pre-payment plan so you are not saddled with additional large expenses when you may also have large vet bills to cover. 
  3. You may choose to simply complete the pre-planning paperwork to get your wishes on file with Heavenly Paws and your veterinarian.


You may complete our online pre-planning form online, call us to make arrangements at 678-995-9520, or visit us in-person to complete paperwork. 

PrePlan for Link

How do I know if it's time to euthanize?

The decision around euthanasia for a beloved pet companion is never easy. There is no substitute for the feedback of a trained veterinary professional, but to help assess your pet's quality of life The Association of Pet Loss and Bereavement offers a quality of life scale you may find useful. Here is the link to Villalobos Quality of Life Scale: APLB - Villalobos Quality of Life Scale

What do I do with my pet's belongings after they pass?

We recommend donating your pet's belongings to charity. There are some wonderful organizations in the Atlanta area, and Heavenly Paws is proud to support Ahimsa House and Daffy's Pet Soup Kitchen. If you would like to drop off your pet's belongings (e.g. litter, litter box and scoop, leftover food, bedding, collar, heartworm prevantative, leash, crates, etc.) when your pet enters our care, we are more than happy to distribute the belongings for you. If you are planning for us to pick up your pet at your vet's office, please consult with your vet prior to leaving these items with them. 

What is the cost of Aquamation?

While cost isn't always a factor in the loss of a beloved companion, Aquamation is priced competitively with traditional fire cremation and burial. Heavenly Paws offers pricing from $69 for Aquamation services with pricing based on the pet's weight in pounds. To know exactly what the cost for your beloved companion will be please follow the pricing link below:


Aquamation Pricing

How does fire Cremation pollute the environment?

According to the EPA, fire cremation releases harmful pollutants into the air including dioxins, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, formaldehyde, mercury and nickel. It is estimated the amount of non-renewable fossil fuels consumed in the US annually for human cremations is enough for over 40,000,000 (40 million) miles of driving in a car1. This number does not account for pet crematories; the average human crematory can cremate 8-10 people per day while the average pet crematory in Atlanta can cremate as many as 50-60 pets per day and operates around the clock.

Why have I never heard of Aquamation?

Aquamation (alkaline hydrolysis) was originally patented in 1888, however only in recent years has it gained increasing popularity within households. In fact, the popularity really began to grow when it was discovered Aquamation was the best way to neutralize the dangerous Mad Cow Disease pathogen.


Heavenly Paws is proud to be the first to offer Aquamation services in Metro Atlanta. Aquamation has been used for decades as a final dispostion (for people and animals) at organizations including: UGA, UCLA, the Mayo Clinic, Duke University, Colorado State University, Texas A&M, Kansas State University and the US Government.

Why use Aquamation?

Unlike conventional cremation our gentle alternative, Aquamation, returns ~20% more of your pet's ashes, uses no fire and therefore produces no toxic emissions, and does not directly contribute to greenhouse gases. In fact, aquamation's alkaline hydrolysis process:


  • Has a carbon footprint that is one-tenth that of fire-based cremation 
  • Uses >90% less natural gas
  • Reduces >90% of carbon dioxide emissions
  • Conserves >66% more electricity
  • Is 100% mercury free
  • As a green alternative, uses 95% less energy than traditional fire cremation


It is a gentle process preserving your pet's dignity. Making this environmentally conscious choice is the best way to honor your beloved pet.



There is not a more environmentally friendly way to honor the memory of your beloved pet companion than Aquamation.

How do I submit a tribute for my pet?

Please follow the link below or mail your tribute to us (please include the photo you would like used and a stamped return envelope if you would like the photo returned):





Heavenly Paws Pet Aquamation

3040 Business Park Dr.

Ste. E

Norcross, GA 30071

What do I do if my Veterinarian does not offer Aquamation?

You can request the use of our services at any veterinarian's office or emergency clinic in the Metro Atlanta and surrounding areas regardless of the aftercare vendor your vet currently uses.Your vet should be willing to help you with your preferred final arrangements for your beloved pet. Alternatively, you can print our Printable Vet Release Form and take the completed form with you to your vet appointment or Submit an Online Vet Release which we will take to your vet.


If you have any questions about how to make final arrangements, please reach out to us at 678-995-9520 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How long does the Aquamation service take?

Because we conduct our Aquamation services as eco-consciously as possible, it takes a bit more time than conventional cremation. We commit to having your ashes returned/ready for pick up within 5 business days.