Dogs help find cremated remains for families affected by California wildfires

The Camp Fire, named after the road when it originated was the most destructive, costly and deadliest wildfire in California. Starting on November 8, 2018, this wildfire lasted for 17 days, claiming the lives of 86 people with three people still missing.

People lost their homes and businesses with over 10,000 destroyed. Among the items people lost included the cremated remains of their loved ones. Lynne Englebert, her border collie Piper, and her team of handlers from the non-profit Canine Forensics (IFC) as well as a team of archaeologists were some of the very few non-residents allowed in the devastated neighborhoods.

The Cremated Remains Recover Team along with their team of specially-trained dogs were there to help families sort through what was left of their home and possessions to locate the cremated remains of their loved ones. During their first visit to the site, the team was able to assist 24 families with this process

The Importance and Impact of this Service

The ICF, founded in 1998 by emergency responder Adela Morris, works on behalf of historic preservation groups, federal agencies, and Native American tribes. In 2017, the ICF saw a need for a noninvasive way to located cremated remains among the ashes of burned homes. The canines of the ICF are trained rigorously and are also recertified semi-annually to detect the very faint scent of remains buried up to 10 feet deep or remains they have been buried for hundreds or thousands of years.

The team was contacted by an archaeologist who had learned of a man who lost his in the 2017 Santa Rosa wildfire and was looking for assistance in locating the cremated remains of his parents.

The man had not yet done what he was supposed to do with the remains, like many of the ICF clients who share similar reasons for wanting to recover the ashes of their loved ones. Some may have promised to comingle the ashes with those of the deceased’s spouse or spread them in a special location. This service provided by the ICF to victims of wildfires helps the people who have been entrusted with the cremated remains locate their loved one’s remains and carry out their loved one’s wishes, providing them with closure and peace of mind.

Pittsburgh Cremation ServicesDogs help find cremated remains for families affected by California wildfires

At Beinhauer Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, we offer a range of cremation options as well as traditional burial and funeral options available to you. Your wishes for your loved one are our top priority which is why we are dedicated to providing you with cremation services that meet your needs and your budget.

Contact Beinhauer Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Services today and speak to a cremation specialist to learn more about our cremation options and how we can assist you with all aspects of funeral planning.