On a regular basis my husband Bill and I run into folks who assume that the veterinary clinic they patronize in Whatcom County sent their recently deceased pet (or the pet of a family member or friend) to Life Cycle Pet Cremation.

“I hear your ads on the radio,” they say with a smile. “I guess all of the clinics are using you, now.”

They’re always surprised to learn that this is not the case.

(See Referring Veterinary Services for an updated list of veterinary service providers who offer Life Cycle as an option to their clients.)

For the last thirty years, most veterinary clinics in the Puget Sound area have used a large wholesale service provider located 25 miles southeast of Everett. Pets are placed in a freezer in the veterinary clinic. Once or twice a week the whole provider picks-up pets and transports them down to their facility (which is not open to the public). On their next run north they return the pets’ cremated remains.

A lot has changed in the last thirty years. Pets are members of the family, and their status has increased significantly. A great deal of time and money is invested in their health and well-being. Pet parents are increasingly emotionally dependent on the companionship their pets provide. When a pet dies the grief a pet parent experiences can be greater than the loss of a human family member.

Also, with the advent of the internet and The Age of Information, pet parents — who are now more vested in their pet than ever before — want to know how and where their pet will be cremated. However, while more and more pet parents are researching pet cremation options on their own, a vast majority of pet parents will simply use whatever service their veterinarian recommends.

Pet parents trust and depend upon their veterinarian to tell them about service options.

One pet parent told us with frustration in his voice and tears in his eyes, “I’m so glad I just happened to see your ad, because otherwise my vet would have just sent my dog away.”

How many more pet parents would love the option of using a local high-quality pet cremation service, but will never know they have this option unless their vet offers them a choice?

For a related posting please see Questions to Ask Your Veterinary Service Provider (VSP) About Your Pet’s Cremation.