Transportation

Transporting a Pet’s Remains

To support and announce systems that will facilitate interstate and international transport of a pet’s remains for an earth burial back home.

Need

The Entrance (2008 CC by nattu on flickr.com)Since our founding, we’ve been contacted by several families seeking a way to transport their pet’s remains back home.

If you ever travel with your pet, or if you and your pet temporarily move away from home and your pet dies, how will you transport your pet’s body if you want a burial back home? In the U.S., Homeland Security only allows air transport of a pet’s body if arranged by a licensed shipper. Yet where can one find such a service?   

Actions

Interstate Transportation: We seek to identify and encourage one entity (e.g., pet cemetery, pet transporter, veterinary practice, crematory, or mortuary) in every state to be licensed as a shipper in order to legally ship the body of a pet’s remains by air transport, whenever the need arises.

Updates

May 22, 2012 – Los Angeles’ Pets To Vets pet transporter (formerly Pet Taxi LA) provides this service. We are looking for other shippers in other cities.

Cancelled

November 21, 2015 – Animal Transporters
the company was sold in 2014; the new owner will not provide this service.

January 8, 2016 – Miami’s Pet Heaven Memorial Park stopped providing this service when United Airlines added new restrictions.


International Transportation:
We seek to identify and encourage one entity (e.g., pet cemetery, pet transporter, veterinary practice, crematory, or mortuary) in every nation to be licensed as a shipper that can legally ship the body of a pet’s remains by air transport, whenever the need arises.

Update

July 20, 2015 We are now exploring transportation options – by plane, ship or train – between nations. Due to international laws, this will be a much more daunting task. We welcome your stories, help and leads, and will post information and updates as we learn anything new.


Models

Within the U.S.

Former Providers

  • Animal Transporters had been sold in 2014; the new owner will no longer provide this service.
  • Delta Airlines will not provide this service.
  • Pet Heaven Memorial Park in Miami, FL. They had an arrangement with United Airlines, but service stopped in 2013.

International Providers

Mail/Delivery Services

Note: Due to the risk of loss or damage, we do not recommend this option.

News / Blogs

11/20/15 – Dead dog flown 6,000 miles to Flintshire for lavish funeral, by David Powell. Daily Post. (also – here and here)

7/18/12 – Flying Home, by Eric Greene. Green Pet-Burial Society.

Compassion vs.
the Environmental Impact of Transportation

This objective seems to contradict the goals of green burial – to be environmentally sound, we would all be buried near where we die in order to minimize the environmental impact of fuel and packing materials used in shipping a body. Some might argue that the money used for transportation could be spent in ways that would protect environments.

In fact, a relatively few will seek transportation services; if they are fortunate, they are likely to access flights already scheduled. Therefore, the main environmental problem regards packing materials, and we encourage the reuse of packing materials, including the marine cooler, whenever possible.

Yet there is something else to consider: a family’s bereavement. The primary reasons why we bury our loved ones’ remains are to honor their memory and gently return their bodies to the earth, while caring for ourselves during an intense period of grief. A true earth burial facilitates healing, therefore we must never sacrifice our compassion, empathy or humanity for the bereaved for an environmentalism that turns into emotionally-sterile advocacy.

Many families now travel with small animals whom they may carry onto a plane. Unless there is an accident, sudden illness, or a prolonged residency, most can arrange for their pet to die at or near home. Although it is a relatively rare occurrence for a family seeks to ship their pet’s body from one state, or one nation, to another, when that need arises, but the family is unable to bring their loved one home, the compounded grief can be overwhelming.

This objective seeks to provide bereaved families with a transportation system that may ease their pain at such difficult times.


updated February 19, 2016

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