A growing number of animal lovers are spending thousands of pounds and dollars on lavish farewells to their companions including elaborate statues for cats and dogs.
In Britain some funeral parlours can carryout up to 10,000 services a year. In America about half a million companion animals were given funerals in 2013.
One in four British companion animal caretaker/guardians used funeral and cremation services for their pets, so says the results of a Mintel study published in August 2015.
In the UK there are more than 50 organisations offering funeral services for pets. The services include personalised tombstones, private cremation services, bereavement counselling, religious blessings and customised coffins all for pets.
One veterinarian working in Cornwall, David Coombs, states that he is happy to recommend these services because it allows him to provide a service which deals with the deep emotional issues arising out of the death of a much loved companion animal.
The Penwith Pet Crematorium in the UK, offers a burial service for horses and 350 of them are buried at the crematorium in Orchard. Forty of the horses’ owners are buried with their horses.
The owner of the crematorium, Penny Lally, says that owners frequently request that letters or poems are read out at the service. The organisation also provides a guesthouse for clients so they can visit and return to the graveyard of the much loved deceased companion animal whenever they like and one person returns every April and has done for the past five years to commemorate the death of his dog.
Many people in Britain go to great lengths to ensure that their pet has a wonderful send-off. For example, Murray Wells recently had to have his 12-year-old Labrador, Molly, putdown. He says that losing his dog was like losing a member of the family and his best friend. His wife and daughters were too upset to visit her. He found the service provided by the Dignity Pet Crematorium in Hampshire to be very reassuring. He said “to know that she was well looked after helped me with the grieving process”.
In the UK private companion animal cremations cost between £100 and £250. The higher cost refers to larger animals. Pet burials are more expensive and some owners have spent thousands of pounds for a full service which includes a hearse, a service, a plot and tombstone and a coffin. Some companies offer bereavement counselling. One couple from Chester, UK had their goldfish cremated. It was the first time that the pet funeral service (Pet Funeral Services in Holywell, Flintshire) had dealt with such a request. They used a very small casket usually reserved for regards in mice.
Surely, the trend described on this page is a good sign. It indicates a greater emotional attachment to companion animals which must result in better animal welfare. It signifies treating pets on an equal footing to other family members. This attitude will ultimately change for the better big issues such as declawing and the mass euthanasia of cats and dogs at shelters.
Source: Times Newspaper.