Shipping a Pet to Radiant Heart

It is perfectly legal to ship a deceased pet’s body to Radiant Heart for cremation services. However, there are rules and procedures that must be followed.


  1. Please prepay for your pet’s cremation.
  2. As needed, also request and pay for return shipping: Shipping – After-Care Package or Urn


What you will need:

  • Access to a freezer large enough to accommodate your pet’s body
  • 2-3 leak-proof plastic bags (contractor strength 3.0 – 6.0 ml)
  • Hard-sided cooler large enough to accommodate your pet’s body. Allow at least 1 qt per pound. So for example, a 70 lb dog will need at least a 70 qt cooler
  • Sealed gel freezer packs
  • Duct tape


  1. Place your pet’s body in a leak-proof plastic bag. We recommend using a contractor-strength (3.0 – 6.0 ml thick) yard waste bag available from most hardware stores. Securely close the bag by knotting the end or using a zip-tie. Further seal the closure with duct tape as needed.
  2. Securely double-bag your pet’s body. Inside a second leak-proof plastic bag place absorbent material (such as pee pads, disposable diapers or old towels), then place your already bagged pet inside this second bag with the absorbent material on the bottom. Again, securely close the bag by knotting the end or using a zip-tie and duct tape.
  3. Freeze your pet’s body for 24-48 hours prior to packaging. Ideally the pet should be frozen solid. You can do this through your vet or by using a home freezer. You may want to curl your pet’s body (double-bagged) inside the base of the cooler you are planning to use for shipping.
  4. Also place the freezer packs in a freezer. Use as many freezer packs as you can fit around your pet inside the cooler.
  5. Once your pet is frozen, check for any holes in the plastic bag. Bag again and/or seal holes with duct tape as needed.
  6. Place the frozen and bagged body and freezer packs inside a sturdy hard-sided cooler. Hard-sided coolers can be purchased from many sources including Wal-mart, Amazon, and others.
  7. Place a completed Authorization Form inside a zip lock bag. Seal the bag shut and place inside the cooler.
  8. Duct-tape the cooler shut.


***Packages must not leak! Leaking packages will be confiscated and destroyed by the shipper. You may also be fined.***

Common causes of leaks:

  • Not using leak-proof bags.
  • Not using sufficient absorbent material.
  • Not securing the cooler shut.
  • Using ice cubes (which melt).


  1. Choose a shipper who allows the transport of animal specimens — UPS, FedEx or USPS.
  2. When speaking with a shipping representative, avoid saying that you are shipping “a deceased pet,” or “whole dead animal body,” or “dead dog [cat, bird, etc.].” Instead, when you are asked “what is in the box?” we recommend saying:“My package includes animal diagnostic specimens. The contents are defined as Biological Substance Category B, UN3373.” This will prevent any rejection of your perfectly legal shipment.
  3. Label the outside of the cooler with a copy of UN3373 label, Biological Substance Category B. Be sure to cover this label with clear packaging tape.
  4. Give our e-mail address to the shipper and request that all notifications be sent to this e-mail:  [email protected].
  5. Mail to:

Radiant Heart After-Care for Pets

801 W. Orchard Drive, Suite 3

Bellingham, WA 98225