I was really interested to read the latest article in the Telegraph about pet cremations, Joe Shute has written a comprehensive piece about the growth in pet cremations and it’s well worth a read, I’ve put the link to the article at the end of this page. He talks about the business of pet cremations, it is now worth over £100 million, and how despite pet ownership declining we are spending more when we lose a pet.
He highlights the difference in the service between individual and communal cremation which we talked about in our ‘Pet Cremation different types of cremation explained‘ post. It’s really important to understand the differences and to make sure you ring or even better visit the crematorium before deciding on a service so that you can get a better idea of how they are going to look after your pet.
Choosing a Pet Crematorium
The article talks about some horror stories of people not getting the ashes about poor and sometimes fraudulent activity but we do know from all the years of running the Scattering Ashes website that there is a common myth that the ashes you get back will not be the actual body that has been cremated. Crematoriums for humans are very highly regulated and the chances of not getting the ashes you are waiting for is extremely slim. The same is not true of pet crematoriums however, many of them are cremating animals for farmers and vets and so will not always offer individual cremation as an option. Again that’s why we always stress how important it is to speak to the crematorium and make sure you are getting exactly the cremation service that you want for your pet.
As with many things in life you will know whether the people you entrust your beloved pet to are the right ones, it is important to ask questions, visit if you can beforehand and don’t be afraid of going to a couple of crematoriums before making up your mind.
The article also talks about some rather heavy handed sales techniques which the author feels are pushing people into buying expensive keepsakes whilst at the crematorium. Again we always recommend taking your time, once you have your pets ashes there is no rush to do anything straight away, as long as you keep the ashes in waterproof container and out of direct sunlight. There are some inexpensive and innovative items that can be perfectly good for your pets ashes.
What struck me most about the article was the interviews with the pet owners, they all talked about how people either understood about losing a pet or not. For people who don’t treat a pet as part of the family they may find it difficult to understand why someone might want to spend £15,000 on a diamond, but when a pet has become an integral part of the family their loss can be devastating. As Peter Branch, a former corporal, says
Some people get it and understand a dog is part of your life. For other people it is just a dog. I have a child and don’t look at pets as children, or fur babies, and I don’t look at myself as a pack leader. I’m just a person lucky to have animals in my life.’
We don’t condone sharp practices or pushy sales people but we do understand that for many of us the need to memorialise a family pet can be as important as any member of our family, it doesn’t have to be expensive but being able to bring something home to remember all the happy times together is an important part of the grieving process.
Tell us about the Good Guys!
There will be some bad practitioners, that’s inevitable in any profession, but there are also some really brilliant people out there and we’d like you to let us have your good stories, tell us about all the vets, the crematoriums, the pet cemeteries, the charities who have helped you with your pet bereavement. We’ll put them up on the site with your recommendations so we can celebrate the good guys and encourage others to do the right thing by our dearly departed pets.