A family was apparently given the ashes from a different animal after they brought their pet’s remains to a cemetery and crematorium in Illinois, according to the Daily Mail in "Pet cemetery is accused of giving the ashes of random animals to grieving owners after dozens of decomposing carcasses were found in a freezer."
The accusations surfaced, when an animal rescue volunteer was searching for a missing dog at an Illinois pet cemetery that also had an attached animal shelter. He noticed a smell coming from a refrigerator on the property. Upon opening the door, the volunteer discovered the bodies of three dead animals.
One of the animals was a cat that had been implanted with a microchip.
The data on the microchip was read by local authorities. It was discovered that the cat belonged to a family whose pet had died three years previously.
It is not clear why the family was given the incorrect ashes or why the cat was never cremated at all.
Unfortunately, the owner of the cemetery committed suicide shortly after the police started their investigation. Therefore, the answers as to why, may never be known.
It is still possible that his estate could be sued and his family will have to be the ones to face legal consequences, instead of him.
Reference: Daily Mail (July 30, 2017) "Pet cemetery is accused of giving the ashes of random animals to grieving owners after dozens of decomposing carcasses were found in a freezer."