Offering a dignified and respectful service for anyone who has passes, even if that individual is a small hamster will be appreciated by the family.
Providing choice can also help to aid owners through their grief. Whether that’s through a selection of memorial gifts or headstones, or cremation or burial, a range of options should be available.
Tracie McGrory, Blue Cross pet bereavement support service manager spoke to us about the way funeral directors can direct pet owners to the right service. Dealing with a loss can be difficult, as Tracie explains: “Grief is grief regardless of whether you are grieving for a human or your pet. However, within society it is not always understood or accepted how upset someone can feel at the loss of their beloved pet. A recent survey by Blue Cross pet charity has revealed that four in ten pet owners had had to ‘pull a sickie’ after the loss of their pet because they couldn’t face going into work.
"As with rituals for human loss, such as having a gravestone or photo of them in a nice frame, memorials for pet loss are no different as it is a part of the grieving process that helps us to move towards acceptance.”
"Pet cemeteries are growing in popularity but there are other options too as Tracie says: “The benefits are having somewhere to visit where you can spend time remembering your pet. Other options are having a private cremation and having a nice box for them to be kept within the home, while some people plant a shrub in the garden or place a stone with the pet’s name on it. The loss of a pet impacts everyone differently so these choices differ for everyone.”
When owners are struggling with the loss of a pet there is always someone to help. Tracie highlighted that: “If owners have lost a pet and need somebody to talk to, they should call Blue Cross’ Pet Bereavement Support Service." The Blue Cross Bereavement Support Service is a free and confidential email or phone helpline which is available 365 days of the year from 8.30am-8.30pm. Those who needs us can call 0800 096 6606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have a range of literature on our website at www.bluecross.org.uk/pbss that can help funeral directors and other members of the team.
“People nowadays consider pets to be as much members of the family as any other. We are proud and pleased to be able to offer beautiful and appropriate memorials for every member of the family”