Riverside Cemetery  ~  Norwalk, Connecticut

Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Ferrets, Fowl/Birds, Reptiles.  

Other Questions?

Once your pet has died, it is helpful to consider two things: 1) preservation until their final disposition; and 2) their physical position.

1 - Unless your pet can be buried or brought to us in a day or two, he/she will need to be preserved in a cool or freezing place since bacteria and breakdown are concerns after two days.  If the weather is warm or if you do not have the means at home, ask your vet if they can hold your pet for a day or two. While uncomfortable to consider, freezing may be necessary for safety.  Also, be mindful to place absorbent material under nose and tail.

2- Consider if your pet will be buried in a casket or cremated in our facility.  Positioning of their limbs becomes important for reasons of "fit".  It is helpful to immediately position their limbs tight against the torso and chin tucked in, but not "curled up" as if sleeping.  You might securely wrap them to help maintain this tucked position since rigor-mortis will soon make this difficult.  For the purpose of fitting your pet into a casket for burial, this step is important. For cremation, however, this step is quite helpful, but less critical.  


Some families wish to place items with their pet for the cremation.  You may do so with the exception of any aluminum metal items.  Any bedding or blankets brought with your pet will be retained prior to the cremation and returned to you when you retrieve your pet's ashes unless you indicate otherwise (however, heavily soiled materials will not be retained). 

Can I watch?

Unfortunately we cannot allow families to be present while their pet is placed within the bath.  We respect each family's privacy and the dignity of each pet.  But because several private compartments are side-by-side within the bath, some pets coming from our vet-clients and other families, are not to be viewed for reasons of privacy and/or because of their condition.  In addition, the bath cycle lasts 24 hours.  However, we do allow families as much time as they need with their pet in our comfortable lounge area to say their final good-byes.  

How do I prepare my pet once they have passed away?

What do I do?

  • If your pet dies at the Vet's facility, instruct them you wish a cremation with Aqua Pet Cremation at Riverside Cemetery.  If your vet is not already contracted with us, they or you simple call us to arrange transportation to us.   You will pick up your pet's ashes at our Riverside Cemetery office.  (If your vet IS contracted with us, you will deal entirely with your vet to handle all details.) 

 

  • If your pet dies at home, simply call us directly.  It is your choice whether to transport your pet to us yourself, or have us pick them up at your home for a fee.  You will make your selection from our packages. You will be asked to sign our form requesting cremation.  All questions will be answered to your satisfaction prior to cremation.  If your pet should pass away on a weekend (our facility is open M-F) do not panic.  The crisis has passed.  They are now at peace.  Your only concern is to keep your pet in a cold place until transportation to our facility can be arranged.  (See below for information on preparing your pet.)  Your vet may be helpful in this regard.  But call us in the meantime, as we monitor messages through the weekend remotely and can return your call.


  • Payment in most cases will be made directly to "Riverside Cemetery" prior to the cremation.  The exception will be for those whose veterinarian is already contracted with us and who is holding your pet.  They will include the cost of cremation in your vet-bill.

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  • ​Pre-Arrangements can be made and purchased in advance of an immediate need.

 

Don't hesitate to give us a call.  We're here to help.  Our office is open Monday - Friday 9am to 4pm (with occasional exceptions).  

What is Aqua Pet Cremation?

It is a NON-FLAME process in a gentle water bath providing families with their deceased pet's ash-remains utilizing technology that has been in use in the medical field for two decades and is now available to families for their pets (in some states it is available for humans as well).  There is no flame or burning, no toxic fumes or poisons emitted into the air. The process has no emissions, and uses minimal energy with a small carbon footprint.   It is the process the earth uses in the natural course of a buried pet, only accelerated.  It's technical term:  alkali hydrolysis.  Our facility is honored to offer this safe and respectful process.  All waste water from this process (which is DNA-free, pharmaceutical-free, pathogen-free, but nutrient-rich water) remains at the cemetery and is placed on our flowerbeds and trees out of respect for the cycle of life.

How long does it take?

During this gentle process, the first phase - the water bath - takes 24 hours. Time is then needed for a gentle drying and preparing of the ashes to take home.  We ask families to allow 7 full days for turnaround.  

How do I know I'll get my own pet's ashes back?

We follow the same careful procedures as that of human cremation.  Each pet will have a numbered tag physically attached.  Each pet has their own private compartment inside the water-bath.  In this way, multiple pets, kept separate, can be efficiently and safely cremated at the same time, though not together. Their remains are carefully recorded and kept separate throughout the entire process.  Families can rest assured that their pet's ashes remain distinct and separately cared for throughout the cremation process. 

What are my choices for my budget?

Depending on a family's budget and also on the intended purpose for their pet's ashes, we offer three different "packages" to choose from, because not all needs are the same.  You can see and read about each of these in the tab at the top of this page.  (See also the tab labeled "Burials" for alternatives to cremation.)  Whether you intend to bury pet's ashes here at the cemetery or keep them at home; if you wish to scatter your pet's ashes elsewhere;  if you wish to keep a tasteful urn on display in your home; we have every option available to you.  See our photos.  We can help. 

What is a Pet Ossuary?

An Ossuary is a cemetery-term for a communal depository of ashes.  We have a dedicated ossuary for pets only, located in a quiet wooded section of our cemetery, accessed by a quaint foot bridge.  For families who wish to no longer hold on to their pets' ashes accumulated at home and wish to know that their final disposition will be well cared for, the Ossuary is the perfect choice.  Also for families who live where they do not have a yard to bury in, or for families who do not wish to receive their pet's ashes back, our Ossuary serves an important need.  With it is a communal monument whereon the pet's name can be added on a plaque.  Accessed by steps leading up to a bridge, from there a family can deposit their ashes through an opening on the surface to the Ossuary which remains underground. Whether their pet is newly or previously cremated, a family is offered this as an alternative to burial.

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