Make us your home page

Natures Pet Loss Center features water-based, ecofriendly cremation process

BROOKSVILLE — At Natures Pet Loss Center, which recently celebrated its grand opening, deceased pets and their owners are granted the gentle touch, dignity and serene surroundings more commonly associated with funeral homes for human loved ones.

Such, perhaps, is the result of owner Joyce Moreau having funeral home experience on her resume.

More unique is the center's ecofriendly and gentle cremation process, said Moreau, 54. Known as aquamation, the method utilizes an alkaline water solution rather than a superheated flame to decompose body remains.

Potassium-based sodium hydroxide and caustic potash are added, according to a chemical equation, to a water bath contained in a large stainless steel tank. The bath dissolves all soft tissue, leaving only bones. The bones are air dried in a small environmentally controlled room. The overall process takes four to eight days, depending on the size of the corpse.

By hand, Moreau pulverizes the bones of small animals, such as birds. Larger and heavier bones are reduced to a coarse powder in an electric-powered grinder. The result is 20 percent more remains than with flame cremation, Moreau said.

Aquamation produces a carbon print only 10 percent that of flaming, she said, and puts no particulates or residue into the atmosphere.

"I went to a seminar, then classes, on cremation," the entrepreneur said. "When I saw this process, I said why aren't more people doing this? It's more humane, more gentle, more eco-friendly — all that I believe in."

Moreau is in the forefront of offering the aquamation cremation process, said Joe Wilson, CEO of Bio-Response Solutions Inc. in Danville, Ind., which manufactured the business' equipment. A Los Angeles company was the first to install Bio-Response's system two years ago, Wilson said, with 16 now in operation across the country.

Other manufacturers produce similar components for aquamation, a method founded in Australia and first offered by the Mayo Clinic in the United States in 2006 for human remains.

Moreau acknowledges the process "is not for everyone, but is a choice."

Moreau is scrupulous about maintaining the integrity of each pet's remains and ensuring no mingling. She provides a numbered metal tag that accompanies a corpse throughout the reduction process and that is returned to the owner when the process is finished.

Aquamation also enables the return of a computer chip or prosthesis contained in a body, further proof of the remains' identity. Flame cremation decimates those items.

In a loving touch, Moreau provides to a pet's owner a hair, fur or feather clipping, along with a paw print in a naturally drying clay.

All of the items are assembled in a wooden box, but an owner can choose from a wide variety of keepsake urns, from brushed pewter or brass to enameled ceramics, many etched with a likeness of a cat or dog. Also offered are handmade boxes by Brooksville woodcrafter Johnny Morton, in cedar, walnut, cherry and cypress.

The center, staffed by Moreau and two technicians, includes a tastefully furnished viewing chapel where families may conduct a remembrance service. There, Moreau showcases remains wrapped in a blanket and reposed in a pet bed.

Fees start at $109 for a pet of 10 pounds or less. There's a sliding scale, based on animal weight. Urns are priced from $25 for Morton's woodworks, and from $43 to $295 for metal and ceramics.

>>fast facts

Natures Pet Loss Center

What: crematorium with water-based processing

Where: 646 W Jefferson St., Brooksville

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; by appointment on weekends

Phone: (352) 353-4813


Natures Pet Loss Center features water-based, ecofriendly cremation process 03/06/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 7, 2014 1:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Appointments at Port Tampa Bay and Tampa General Medical Group highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers



    Port Tampa Bay announced that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. Sowell, a former member of the U.S.Marine Corps, will support internal, external and special projects, assist the executive team with management oversight and serve as a liaison on a variety of port …

    Port Tampa Bay announced this week that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. [Handout photo]
  2. Drones restrictions coming at Tampa Bay area airports


    Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems, according to a press release.

    In this February 2017 file photo, a drone flies in Hanworth Park in west London. Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems,
[John Stillwell/PA via AP, File]
  3. Gov. Scott backs off boycott of companies doing business in Venezuela

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott will ask the Florida Cabinet next month to prohibit the state's investment managers from doing something they already do not do: invest in companies or securities owned or controlled by the Venezuelan government.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott interacts with people as he holds a Venezuelan Freedom Rally at El Arepazo 2 restaurant on July 10 in Miami. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]
  4. Superior Uniform Group reports $65.6 million in sales for second quarter


    SEMINOLE — Superior Uniform Group Inc. reported sales of $65.6 million in net sales for the second quarter, up a percentage point from the same quarter last year, the Seminole-based company reported Thursday.

    Superior Uniform Group Inc. saw a sales increase for the second quarter, the company reported Thursday. Pictured is Michael Benstock, CEO. | [Courtesy of Superior Uniform Group]
  5. Air bag inflator ruptures, driver killed in Pasco County


    DETROIT — Automaker Honda says a driver from Pasco County died in a crash earlier this month that involved an exploding Takata air bag inflator.

    Honda says a driver near Tampa has died in a crash that involved an exploding Takata air bag inflator. 
[Associated Press]