DUNWOODY, Ga. – For many pet owners, losing a pet can be like losing a member of the family. When a pet passes on, some want to celebrate their life through the display of their ashes. For co-owners Christie Sachse and Trish Reyes, it is important that owners receive all of their pet’s remains while also helping the environment. Aqua Transitions offers a natural and beneficial alternative to standard cremation. Through personal tragedy, the two were inspired to offer these services to others grieving the loss of a loved one.
“A little over a year ago, my boyfriend’s dad passed away and he was going to be cremated,” Reyes said. “On the day [of cremation] I was very distressed and…I researched cremation and I was horrified. I found alkali hydrolysis which is the biological process we use.”
Alkali hydrolysis is a cremation process composed of 95 percent water and five percent alkali, which is an eco-friendly chemical commonly used in cosmetics, shaving cream, and food preparation. With the assistance of heat, the body is broken down to its chemical components to ensure that an additional 20 percent of the remains are returned to the owner.
Despite the method’s longevity, it is still not consistently practiced by doctors and veterinarians. Although their manufacturer recommended starting only with animals, Sachse and Reyes are hoping to bring awareness to this alternative and expand their services to people who have passed on as well.
“The reason we came up with that name [Aqua Transitions] is we didn’t want to have ‘pet’ in the name because we eventually want to be able to conduct the process with humans,” Sachse said.
“It’s a more gentle process and eco-friendly…we want to educate as many people as we can so that they’re aware that this alternative exists,” Reyes said.
Aqua Transitions is currently marketing their services to local veterinary clinics to provide pet owners with another viable option. Their top concern is that grieving owners receive all of their animal’s remains in the safest and most efficient way possible.
“Each pet that we receive, we have a little stainless steel aqua tracking tag that stays with the pet through the whole process. That guarantees that they [the owner] get their pet ashes returned,” Sachse said.
For each animal received, the two are donating a portion of their profit to Fur Kids Animal Rescue & Shelters and Paws Atlanta. As the two strive to build a local presence, they are also aiming to provide grieving services for distressed owners in need of consultation.
“Pets have unconditional love,” Sachse said. “They don’t judge you and they love you no matter what. They help your heart rate and they bring a lot of joy to your life.”
Aqua Transitions is located on Dunwoody Park Drive and open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (404) 623-5545 or visit their website at www.aquatransitions.com.