Thx to everyone for your thoughts on this.
I have asked co-workers and others I know for ideas.
We had planned several spots to spread bits of the ashes. Her favourite lake where she swam for 15 years, the trails she ran on, the deck where she slept in the sun every summer at the cottage and the parks she was raised in when she was a puppy.
We paid for a private cremation specifically. It was an extra cost to ensure we would get her ashes returned intact and not be mixed with others.
We've been told that there was some error in communication and she was cremated in a group of other animals and buried in a mass grave with other animals. The grave site is a 4 or 5 hour drive away. This in unforgiveable.
I find this information almost unbearable. We were still grieving the loss of our pet who was fighting cancer for months and now this is the final chapter? I'm beside myself with grief and anger for the way this turned out.
I would have buried her myself if it had not been February and the ground was frozen. At least then I would know where she rests and keep her close to home.
Some responses we received from friends were very peaceful and included the thoughts that we would not be able to hang onto or even slowly release the presence of the ashes.
One was 'had they lost your mother's ashes you would be suing them for emotional suffering" and they'd be paying out for damages to you and your family.
Another person said we should sue them for negligence and for loss of personal property and damages.
I have no idea what to do. But I'm devastated by this. Anyone who we've told the story too is very shocked also.
I'm just trying to find a path to get through to the other side of this whole event.