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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is cremation? What happens to my pet’s body while it’s in your care?

Please see Our Process – What happens to Your Pet’s Body.


When will my pet be picked up?

Pick up typically occurs the same day we receive a call from you (for a home pick up) or from your veterinary clinic.


How long will it take to get my pet’s cremated remains back?

Your pet’s After-Care Package will be ready for pick up from our facility within 72 hours of payment confirmation. Our goal is 48-hours, but we can guarantee 72 hours. If you elect to have us deliver the After-Care Package to your veterinary clinic or your home, then another 12-24 hours may be required. If you order custom services, such as engraving services, then additional business days may be required.


How do I know if the remains I’m getting back really belong to my pet?

We utilize a strict chain of custody and tracking procedure that includes the use of numbered steel ID tags. Your pet’s steel ID tag will stay with them throughout the cremation process (including in the crematorium). After cremation, the tag will be cleaned (so that you can read the number) and attached to the bag holding your pet’s cremated remains.

The fact that we invest in uniquely numbered steel ID tags sets us apart from our competition. Some cremation services don’t use tags at all.  Others use inexpensive aluminum tags that would melt in the crematorium so the tag is removed from the pet prior to cremation.

Using steel ID tags is the only way to guarantee the return of your pet’s cremated remains. Once a pet is cremated, it is impossible to tell who is who. Unless there is a steel ID tag in the cremated remains to confirm the identity, then there is room for human error. Using steel ID tags and a strict chain of custody allows Life Cycle to guarantee, with 100% surety, the return of your pet’s cremated remains.

See Our Process for more information.


Who can use your services?

Anyone. You have a choice for your pet’s after-care. Even if your veterinarian is not a referring veterinary service, you can still use our services.


May I inspect the facility where the cremation will be performed?

Absolutely. Our entire facility is open to the public.


What do you do with non-private/communal cremated remains?

See Non-Private/Communal Cremations.


Are you willing to cremate a toy with my pet’s body?

Occasionally a pet parent will request that an object (such as a toy, blanket, note/poem, or flower) be cremated with their pet. If the object is made of natural materials (cotton, hemp, paper, flowers, etc.) then yes, we will be happy to cremate the object your pet. However, objects made from non-natural material (rubber, polyester, etc.) cannot be cremated. (Use of our crematorium is regulated by Northwest Clean Air Agency.) In the case of a stuffed toy with a natural fiber shell and non-natural stuffing, the stuffing can be removed and the shell can be cremated with the pet.


What is a “witnessed” cremation?

Witnessing a cremation simply means that you are present (either in our Care Center where the crematorium is located, or in our Reflection Room and watching through a window that looks into the Care Center) when we place your pet in the crematorium, close the crematorium door, and turn on the equipment.

Some pet parents choose to witness their pet’s cremation in order to feel 100% certain that their pet was indeed the only pet in the crematorium. Other pet parents witness their pet’s cremation out of a sense of obligation to stay by their pet’s side to the very end.

If you can’t be present, but still want to witness the cremation, then for a fee we will video tape the start of your pet’s cremation, beginning when your pet is placed in the empty crematorium through the point when you can hear both the primary and secondary burners turn on (which indicates that cremation has begun).


Do you offer payment options?

Yes. We recognize that sometimes a pet’s death occurs unexpectedly during a financially difficult time for the pet parent.


Can I donate money to help low-income pet parents pay for cremation services?

Yes. Please contact Life Cycle for information.


If I pay by credit card, what will you do with my information?

We do not retain credit card information electronically or in a paper format. Period. If for some reason your credit card information must be written down for temporary reference, once payment is processed then that information is shredded.


Do you provide pet cremation service for large animals, like horses?

Please refer to Horses and Other Large Animal Cremation.


How can I know if an urn I’m interested in buying is large enough for my pet?

First, make sure that you know the internal dimensions and/or volume of the urn.

The industry rule of thumb is that you will need one cubic inch of urn volume for each pound your pet weighs prior to cremation.

That said, the cremation of a ten pound cat could result in a higher volume of cremated remains than a twenty pound dog. It all depends on bone structure.

To be absolutely certain, consider waiting until you have your pet’s cremated remains. Life Cycle is happy to provide the actual volume measurement for you.


If I leave my pet’s bedding with you, what happens to it?

We donate gently used pet bedding to Clancy’s Pad. Towels and blankets are laundered and donated to local veterinary clinics.


My dog had surgery on her ACL. What happens to the hardware?

Pieces of surgical hardware (plates, rods, nails, pins, screws, and sometimes wires) typically do not burn up or melt during cremation. When we remove a pet’s cremated remains from the crematorium, if surgical hardware is present then we will see it. When surgical hardware is found in the cremated remains of a pet, it is placed in a separate plastic bag with the pet’s ID number. The bag is placed in the after-care package, and a note is made on the Authorization Form to ask the pet parent, when they come to pick up the after-care package, if they would like to keep the hardware or if they would like for us to dispose of it. 99% of the time pet parents want to keep the hardware.


My pet weighs less than 35 pounds, and I’m trying to decide between semi-private and private. What advice can you offer me?

With either a semi-private or private cremation, you will get only your pet’s cremated remains. If your concern is emotional (you just don’t want any other pet to be in the crematorium with your pet), then choose private. If your concern is financial, then we recommend semi-private because it can result in a significant cost savings to you.