17 August, 2011

What Do You Do?

So, suppose like us, you've made the move and you're living down here in Belize. All of a sudden, one of your pets dies. Maybe you live in town and don't have the room for a large grave, or just don't like the idea of digging a hole and putting the newly departed into the ground. Maybe you're concerned about the health aspects, or whatever.

What do you do? Well, it's a bit more complicated compared to what we had to do in the States. When one of our pets died up there, all we had to do was take them to the vet and they took care of getting the cremation taken care of. A few days later, we returned to the vet's and received a nice wooden urn full of ashes.

Here, you have to have a certificate of death issued by your veterinarian. It's basically a letter, signed by the Veterinarian to the funeral parlor, stating that the animal is dead and that the owner wants the remains cremated.
Death Certificate
So, this means you have to take the deceased to the vet's office, get the certificate and take it and the remains to the local funeral parlor.

They, in turn, have to contact the Health Department, who issues them a permit to conduct the cremation.
Cremation Permit
The permit describes the conditions that must be followed for the cremation. So, in a way, it is a big deal to have a pet cremated.

It's not the cheapest thing to have done. The cremations for each of our cats cost $200.00 BZD. After everything is completed (which takes about a day), the funeral home returns the ashes in a nice little wooden box with a black mourning bow - which is used down here to signify that you're in mourning. What I mean is, that if you go to a business and they're closed and there's a black bow on the door, you have a pretty good idea that there's been a death in the family and to come back another day.

And now you know. It's not the most pleasant of topics, but one that most of us, where ever we might live, will have to deal with. This is how it's dealt with in Belize - well, at least in Corozal anyway.


JRinSC said...

Hi Dave,

I noticed in the Official Cremation Approval document it stated that a Public Health Official had to be present at the cremation. Wonder if that is part of the 100$BZ that was involved?

Anyway, I'm sorry you've had such a lousy middle of your summer -- I hope that life treats you better for a while.

Is the awning over the pool holding up under your use so far? Sure looks like it helps with the sun...


Dave Rider said...

Hi Julian,

Just so there's no confusion - that's $200.00 BZD each cremation. But, you're probably right. Part of that fee might just pay for their activity. Anyway, it's nice to see them taking public health seriously.

The awning is holding up well. It might come down in the next day or so, depending on what Invest 93L does.

Thanks. Things are only gonna look up for a while.


Vivien said...

A most interesting blog entry, Dave.

Dave Rider said...

Thanks, Viv. A little out of the ordinary, buy good stuff to know.

I assume the process would be essentially the same for human cremations (certificate probably signed by a doctor instead of a vet, but other than that about the same). Cost might be more. I didn't ask the folks at the funeral parlor, who, by the way, are nice and caring people, as you would expect.


Unknown said...

Thank you for thinking of the rest of us pet owners and stopping to pass on such necessary information. We are thinking of you.

Dave Rider said...

Thanks Colleen. We appreciate your comments very much. We're glad we were able to share come valuable information for folks. It might lessen the stress during a time of need.

Dave and Dianna