To address the concern over cremains being returned to the proper owner, CVMA offers members cremation tags to better track individual cremations. Veterinarians may be unaware that hiring a crematory to contract business makes them legally responsible for the proper return of that animal’s remains. Human crematoriums place a numbered metal tag on the deceased person’s body. That number is then checked with the numbered tag in the ashes after cremation. CVMA provides a similar program developed to ensure that clients get back the proper ashes of their animals and to safeguard veterinarians from liability as the contractor of the cremation services. The stainless steel tags, which are attached to an animal’s limb and carry unique numbers, serve as identification when an animal is cremated.
When the program was created, DAVMS (now a chapter of CVMA) provided a letter to all crematoriums letting them know this system is put into place and to place the tag on the outside of the box of cremains so it can be checked. Is this a fool proof system? No. Problems can still occur, but the idea is that the veterinarian has made a conscious effort on his/her part to reduce the possibility of errors.
How the program works
Before an animal is picked up for cremation, secure a uniquely numbered tag to a deceased animal’s limb using the provided plastic tie. The tag number and the identification of the animal must be recorded by the hospital and kept on file. After the body is cremated, the crematory staff should compare the tag number to the identification information provided by you. Crematoriums have been advised by the CVMA to attach the tag to the cremains container so that it can be checked by you and your client. In the interest of accurate record keeping, tags should only be used once.
This system is not foolproof, but it can help reduce instances of misidentified cremains and establish that the veterinarian has made a conscious effort to reduce the possibility of errors. This is important because when a veterinarian hires a crematorium to cremate an animal on behalf of a client, the veterinarian becomes legally responsible for the proper return of that animal’s remains.
Thank you for your participation in this program. If you have any questions or would like to order tags, please use the order form below or call the CVMA at 303.318.0447.
Please call the CVMA office at 303.318.0447