FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie?

Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie is a pet cremation and bereavement center, providing pet death care services and products. Heaven’s Pets is a joint venture between Heaven’s Pets, LLC and Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetaries.

Where is Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie located and what does the facility include?

Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie is located on the historic and serene grounds of Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans. The 2,148-square-foot facility is solely dedicated to the caring of pets and features an on-site pet crematory, grief counseling and viewing rooms for pet owners.  Adjacent to the facility is a lovely Memorial Garden where pet owners can pay tribute to their beloved pet.

What do you do when a pet’s death occurs?

When a pet’s death occurs, ask your veterinarian or emergency clinic for Heaven’s Pets and call 504-482-PETS(7387).  Our staff is available for you 24-hours a day, so you can call at any time. Families are welcome to bring their pet in on their own to our facility or we can pick up your pet from your veterinarian, home or emergency clinic.

Can I visit the pet crematories in the area?

We highly encourage that you visit the pet crematories in the area before you make your decision, so that you can learn about all of your options.  Visiting the pet crematories in advance of your pets passing will help you make a difficult decision easier with the knowledge and information learned.  This will give you peace of mind that your beloved pet is well cared for after they are deceased.  Here are some things to consider:

  • Are you allowed to inspect the facility and their processes without an appointment?
  • Is the staff professional, caring and attentive to your needs and questions?
  • Is the pet crematory clean and well maintained?
  • What happens to unwanted pet cremains?

Remember, if you feel that a pet crematory is not forth coming, you cannot inspect all of their operations or not allowed to, then you probably want to consider someone else.

What services and products does Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie offer?

Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie is here to care for not only your pet, but for your entire family by offering private and communal cremations, transportation of your pet’s remains, a wide selection of urns, keepsakes, prints, complimentary grief resources and permanent memorialization.

Can pet cremations and services be prearranged?

Yes.  Heaven’s Pets will gladly prearrange your pet’s cremation and any accompanying services.  We understand that this is a difficult time and are here to make it a little easier. Simply come by or call our office any time and we can take care of making the necessary arrangements.  Then when your pet passes, ask for Heaven’s Pets.

How do I get my pet to Heaven’s Pets?

You may choose to transport your pet to Heaven’s Pets on your own, or Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie will pick up your pet from your veterinarian, home or emergency clinic.  Simply ask for Heaven’s Pets and call 504-482-PETS(7387).

What is the difference between a private and a communal cremation?

A private cremation involves the cremation of one pet.  You pet will be cremated ALONE and not with any other pets or separations in the cremation chamber.  Your pet’s cremains will be returned to you.

A communal cremation involves the cremation of multiple, unrelated pets.  Your pet’s cremains will not be returned to you, and will be respectfully scattered in our Memorial Garden.

Where do the pet cremations take place?

Pet cremations take place in the crematory of the Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie building.

Can pet owners witness the cremation of their pets?

Pet owners cannot witness the actual cremation. However, through a private viewing, pet owners can participate in the service by collecting a lock of hair and any prints, as well as, witnessing the placement of their pet into the cremation chamber.

At any time prior to the cremation, all pet owners are able to come to Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie and spend time with their loved one to say goodbye.

How do pet owners know they are getting their pets’ cremated remains?

Each step of a private cremation includes an identification process called tagging and logging that ensures the identity of the pet.  This process begins once we receive your pet and follows them throughout the entire cremation process.  We utilize the same identification system that is used for human cremation.

What happens to pet cremated remains if the customer does not want them?

Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie will work with each situation individually to carefully and respectfully handle the cremated remains.

I do not want my pet’s cremains returned and my vet said they would handle the disposition.  How do I know my pet will not be sent to the landfill?

Unfortunately and sadly enough, in many states including Louisiana, pets and their mortal remains are classified as waste. Most owners would not want their pets’ bodies to be handled with commercial refuse and classified as waste along with road-kill, livestock and animal medical waste. You must ask your veterinarian or pet crematory how they will dispose of your pet if you do not wish to have their cremated remains returned to ensure they will not be sent to the landfill.

What kinds of animals can be cremated?

In general, small animals, such as cats, dogs, rabbits, snakes, birds, ferrets, lizards, goats and pot belly pigs can be cremated. Our prices are based on the weight of the pet from zero to 200 pounds. In some cases we can handle larger animals. If your pet weighs over 200 pounds, please call Heaven’s Pets at 504-482-PETS (7387) for pricing.

Can live pets attend the memorial service?

Yes, all pets are welcome to attend memorial services.

Does Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie offer taxidermy services?

No, Heaven’s Pets does not offer taxidermy services.

Are pet caskets available for purchase?

Yes, Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie can assist in the ordering of pet caskets.

When and where does Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie hold pet grief counseling sessions?

Heaven’s Pets grief counseling sessions are held on the second Tuesday of every month.  These sessions are held at Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie from 7 to 8:15 p.m. and are complimentary to anyone who has lost a pet.  It is recommended that if you are interested in a counseling session to please call and make a reservation.

What is an ossuary?

An ossuary is an underground repository for the placement of privately cremated remains.

Will pet burials be allowed on the grounds of Metairie Cemetery?

Whole body pet burials will not be allowed anywhere on the grounds of Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery. Cemetery regulations prohibit whole body animals from being interred in any area dedicated for the interment of human remains. However, pet cremains may be interred in one of our columbarium’s or memorial curbing of our Memorial Gardens.

Can pet cremated remains be buried with a pet owner or family member?

Cemetery regulations prohibit pet cremated remains from being buried with a pet owner or family member.

How is placing pet cremated remains in the ossuary allowed if pets cannot be buried in the cemetery?

The area to be used for the Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie business has not been dedicated for the burial of human remains; therefore, the placement of cremated pet remains into the ossuary is permitted.

What are the methods of payment?

Cash, check and all major credit cards are accepted methods of payment.

 

Definitions

Definitions

Cremation process: The heating process that reduces human or animal remains to bone fragments, followed by the processing that reduces bone fragments to unidentifiable dimensions.

Private Cremation: A cremation procedure during which only one animal’s body is present in the cremation unit during the cremation process.

Communal cremation: A cremation procedure where multiple animals are cremated together without any form of separation.  The commingled remains are not returned to the owners.

Partitioned/Individual/Separated cremation: A cremation procedure during which more than one pet’s body is present in the cremation chamber and the cremated remains of specific pets are to be returned.  Due to a number of factors and by virtue of multiple pets being cremated within the same unit at the same time, active commingling of cremated remains will occur.  This process is not used or supported by Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie.

Commingling: Mixing of cremated remains

Active Commingling: Commingling that occurs between animals during the cremation and/or retrieval process when multiple animals are cremated together at the same time.  This type of commingling can be minimized with effective portioning but it is impossible to assert that it can be eliminated entirely.  This type of commingling cannot, by definition, occur with a private cremation.

Residual (Incidental) Commingling: Unavoidable incidental commingling between cremations that occur despite a best effort to recover all cremains from each cremation.  This will occur to varying degrees with any type of cremation.  This definition is the minimal type of commingling that occurs even in cremations performed in succession. (human cremations and private pet cremations)

Partitioned/Individual/Separated cremation: A cremation procedure during which more than one pet’s body is present in the cremation chamber and the cremated remains of specific pets are to be returned.  Due to a number of factors and by virtue of multiple pets being cremated within the same unit at the same time, active commingling of cremated remains will occur.  This process is not used or supported by Heaven’s Pets at Lake Lawn Metairie.

PLPA Mission

PLPAThe PLPA Mission Statement

The Pet Loss Professionals Alliance is committed to being an educational resource to its members.  The membership, including pet loss suppliers and pet death care facility operators, will be dedicated to the respectful and dignified treatment of those pets entrusted to us.  We will do this through the creation of programs to profitably meet the changing needs of the pet death care industry and our process partners in the areas of cemeteries, crematories and pet loss facilities, as well as, the creation of standards to willfully meet our customers’ expectations.

PLPA Standards

PLPA Standards

PLPA

Private Cremation: Any cremation procedure deemed “Private” must be performed with only one pet’s body or cremated remains in the cremation unit during the cremation process.  Only “one pet at a time” will be cremated when a Private Cremation is performed.

All retrievable cremated remains should be collected from each cremation prior to placing the next animal’s body in the cremation unit.

Operators may not use the word “Private” in the title or description of any service in which more than one animal is cremated in any part of a single cremation unit at the same time. (i.e., “Semi-Private”, “Privately Partitioned” are not acceptable).

It is the PLPA’s position that any company using the words “Private” or “Individual” in the definition and/or description of their cremation processes be expected to perform the procedure in the same manner as private cremations are performed by PLPA members.

Communal Cremation: While allowing for some practical considerations at the discretion of the PLPA member, PLPA membership will be expected to treat the bodies of pets designated for communal cremation with respect and dignity at all times possible.  This primarily includes, but not limited to:

  • Completing the cremation expeditiously if cold storage is not available
  • Minimizing or eliminating any amount of rough-handling of animals

The final disposition of the cremated remains is to be disclosed to clients, but these cremated remains are not to be returned to clients in whole or in part.  Unless otherwise prohibited in an operator’s jurisdiction, the PLPA recommends dignified disposition of the cremated remains, such as scattering or internment in a location that families may visit.  Cremated remains of companion animals should not be disposed of in the garbage or land fill unless doing so is required by law of that jurisdiction.  Operators should also disclose what the final disposition area is for the customer.

Family Cremation: A special type of multiple-pet cremation procedure performed at the request of a single owner or family during which pets from the same family, and only pets from the same family, are cremated together.

PLPA Obligations

Obligations of Membership in PLPA

PLPAMembers of the PLPA recognize that we have special obligations to the pets, families and other businesses that we serve. As guardians of pets in death, we pledge:

  • To care for the remains of those entrusted to us with dignity, respect and professional skill, whether at a clinic, funeral home, crematory or cemetery
  • To honor the wishes of the family and to serve all families with respect, understanding and confidentiality
  • To protect and preserve all interment sites and relevant historical data entrusted to us
  • To be guided by the spirit and letter of all applicable laws and regulations set by governing bodies with jurisdiction over our activities in the ownership, management and operation of a funeral home, crematory, cemetery or related endeavor
  • To be an educational resource and guide in standards relating to final pet death care options for our client families as well as our process partners