What is Aquamation?

Pet Aquamation is the water-based alternative to conventional pet cremation. Once your pet is in Heavenly Paws' care, we will gently place their body into an alkali bath consisting of the salts and minerals from the earth that would help their body breakdown if buried naturally. The result is the same ash received from flame-based cremation; in fact, about 20% more ash on average.


Aquamation is the pet related trade name for the process called Alkaline Hydrolysis. Watch this video to learn more: Alkaline Hydrolysis Overview

What if My Veterinarian Does Not Offer Aquamation?

You may request Aquamation service at any veterinarian's office within our Veterinary Service Area for complimentary body removal, or outside our service area with a small transporation fee, regardless of the aftercare vendor your vet currently uses. Most vet hospitals are willing to help with your preferred aftercare arrangements, but typically you must ask if you want to know all of your options.  

 

You may also contact Heavenly Paws to schedule euthanasia service in our comfort room with one of our vet partners or to be matched with a participating animal hospital in your area. 

 

For Aquamation service to any non-partnering veterinary clinics please either Submit an Online Vet Release or print, complete, and take our Printable Vet Release Form to your vet appointment and leave completed & signed copy with the hospital. We recommend letting Heavenly Paws know you need our services as soon as you decide to move forward with Aquamation for your companion.

 

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

What Do I Do if My Pet Dies at Home?

The most important thing to remember when a pet passes at home is to keep the body as cool & dry as possible and away from other pets.

 

A list of things to do and consider:

  • As soon as possible following the passing of your pet, it’s best to place pee pads or plastic under the pet’s head and rear end as they may begin losing fluids  
  • It is okay to wrap the body in the pet’s favorite blanket or place them in their bed. Alternatively, wrapping the body in a blanket or towel you do not mind getting soiled or disposing of and placing the body in plastic/pee pad lined box or tote will help keep your home and/or vehicle more sanitary.
  • If there a items you would like to keep (such as a collar or ID tags), please remove prior to releasing your pet into Heavenly Paws' care 
  • If your pet passes outside our normal business hours, there is little risk to keeping the body for up to 24 hours in your home if your companion is kept cool and dry. If you are uncomfortable keeping the pet’s body until we open, Heavenly Paws answers our phones (678-995-9520) 24/7 and provide after-hours service for an additional fee.

How Can I Be Sure I am Getting My Pet's Ashes Returned?

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 (aka Alkaline Hydrolysis)?

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:

 

  • Has a 1/10the carbon footprint of conventional 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. For us, making this environmentally conscious choice is the best way to honor your beloved pet.

 

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):

 

Tibute

 

Mail:

Heavenly Paws Pet Aquamation

3040 Business Park Dr.

Ste. E

Norcross, GA 30071

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 pet's ashes returned/ready for pick up within 5 business days.