You will meet people in life that do not understand the bond you have with your pet, but you won’t find those people at Dignity. We are all pet lovers here, which is why we offer the caring and respectful pet cremation service that we do, with options such as attended services for those who want to be there until the very end. But for some people, staying with their pet until they enter the cremation chamber is not enough so at Dignity we offer the option to have your own ashes scattered or buried with your pet.
Despite it being uncommon in the UK today, wanting to stay close to the animals in your life is not a new concept. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt were often buried alongside mummified cats, monkeys and dogs, who they believed would share the afterlife with them. In Europe studies have been conducted into graves of Neolithic humans who were buried with their dogs over 4000 years ago, and in British history many Ango-Saxon nobles were buried with their horses.
To some people, being buried alongside their pet is extremely important, including this family who bought a large plot at a pet cemetery with enough space for all 3 family members and their two dogs. In fact, BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham revealed that he’d like his ashes to be scattered with those of his two pet poodles, Itchy and Scratchy. He said: “Our ashes are going to get mixed together and thrown out in the woods in a favourite spot in the New Forest. I love them so much I want to be part of them and I want them to be part of me in this lifetime.”
Can I have my ashes scattered with my pet?
Sadly, most human crematoriums and cemeteries do not allow the burial or scattering of pet ashes along with their owners. This is because the ashes of pets are still classed as ‘waste’ and require separate licensing via the Environment Agency. A human crematorium or cemetery can apply to also be a pet cemetery – however as most are running out of space already it’s unlikely that this will become commonplace. It is also illegal for a pet’s ashes to be placed in an owner’s coffin prior to burial or cremation.
We realised that there was a growing demand for owners to have their ashes buried or scattered alongside those of their pets, so in 2013 we began offering this as an option at Dignity, becoming the first pet crematorium in the UK to do so. “Our first human ashes at Dignity were those of a lovely lady who visited us and chose the plot where she wanted to be buried with her two beloved cats,” says Dignity owner Kevin whose parents Barry & Carole founded Dignity in 1992. Their ashes now rest in the grounds at Dignity alongside their family pets – two German shepherds and a cat.
Putting your wishes into writing is extremely important if you want this type of farewell. “A lot of people write it into their will that they want their pet’s ashes to be put in the coffin with their body before they themselves are cremated but that’s illegal, although it still does not stop the odd funeral director from doing it,” says Kevin. “You have got to go about it properly. Put a letter of wishes with your will stating that when you die you would like the ashes of your pet to be buried or scattered with your own and detail the specific location. But don’t forget to say where your pet’s ashes are.” You can download and print a letter of wishes from our website here.
Human & pet ash scattering options at Dignity Pet Crematorium
We now offer a range of different options and areas to have your ashes interred or scattered alongside your pet’s. If this is something you are interested in we recommend you make an appointment to visit Dignity to take a look around at the different areas you could choose for your final resting place. Please note that we can only accept human ashes from clients who have had their pet cremated at Dignity.
- Ashes scattered in one of the shared Natural Scatter Areas around Dignity’s gardens. Individual markers are not permitted in these areas but you can opt for a hardwood plaque mounted on a memorial post nearby.
- Ashes scattered in one of our Formal Scatter Areas in the Dignity gardens with a slate memorial marker.
- Ashes interred into the Natural Woodland area at Dignity. You can add an option marker of your choice.
- Ashes interred and marked by a slate memorial marker in one of the Shared Flower Beds in our gardens of remembrance.
- Ashes interred in a Family Flower Bed for up to 2 humans and 5 pets, with a late memorial marker and a selection of indigenous plants.
- Ashes placed into a Memorial Niche in our Remembrance Walkway looking out onto our peaceful gardens and magnificent Victorian Brick Kiln.
Deciding whether to have your ashes scattered or buries alongside those of your pet or pets can be a big desicion so take time to think it over and talk it through with loved ones. You can read more about the different human and pet ash scattering options available at Dignity here. If you have any questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.