Paid for dog to be cremated, but was not given his ashes.

////Paid for dog to be cremated, but was not given his ashes.

Question

My dog, who was my emotional support, was paid to be cremated. My dog was sent out with a group of dogs not to be returned. All the veterinarian hospital is offering is some other dogs ashes in an urn. What recourse do I have?

Answer

I am very sorry for your loss. Usually pet “parents” are given a choice when opting for cremation (group or individual). Unless an individual cremation is chosen, the ashes returned, if any, will be of multiple animals. There was a case in New York which involved the negligent loss of the body of a dog who was euthanized due to health reasons. The dog’s “parent” planned a funeral for the dog but when the casket was opened, she found the remains of a cat. The court, in finding in favor of the dog’s “parent,” stated: “In ruling that a pet such as a dog is not just a thing I believe the plaintiff is entitled to damages beyond the market value of the dog. A pet is not an inanimate thing that just receives affection; it also returns it. I find that plaintiff Ms. Corso did suffer shock, mental anguish and despondency due to the wrongful destruction and loss of the dog's body. She had an elaborate funeral scheduled and planned to visit the grave in the years to come. She was deprived of this right.” I cannot say how a court in your state would decide a case under the circumstances you described but if a cremation agreement was violated, a court may award some money. Again, I am sorry for your loss.

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By |2021-03-25T15:04:19+00:00March 25th, 2021|