As pet owners we are often forced into making a decision about what to do with a pet’s body very quickly. We’re not always given the opportunity to say goodbye, and are then left to decide what to with their remains. Unlike human death, there’s no set protocol when you lose a pet, so we tend to follow in the footsteps of what our friends or relatives have done in the past.
There are many reasons you might have buried your pet in the garden; it could be that seemed the right place, or that it was the only option you knew about at the time. Unfortunately that makes moving house a difficult decision, even though they may be long gone it can be hard to think about leaving your pet’s remains behind. If you are feeling this way you can choose to exhume your pet’s remains.
What is pet exhumation?
Pet exhumation is simply digging up a buried pet and uplifting their remains, either for re-burial or cremation. You can of course do this yourself, but it might be difficult, both physically and emotionally. Our team have conducted many exhumations over the years and can then transport the remains to our crematorium for individual cremation if you wish.
Dignity owner Kevin Spurgeon, who conducts many of the exhumations himself, says “although it brings old emotions to the surface, everyone says it’s like a great weight has been taken off of them once I’ve uplifted their pet.”
Why do people choose pet exhumation?
Some people prefer to leave their pets buried, either because they do not want to disturb their grave or because the spot they are buried in was special to that animal. Exhuming a pet is not right for everyone. We’ve heard plenty of different reasons why someone might want their pet’s remains uplifting, from moving home to a change in circumstances.
- Moving home and would like to take the remains with them
- Prefer to have their pet cremated now
- Change of use of land, for example an extension
- Separation and both parties would like to share ashes
- Making changes to the garden
- The grave has been disturbed
- Wasn’t aware pet cremation was an option at the time
- Did not get land owners permission
How much does pet exhumation cost?
The cost of uplifting a pet varies significantly and depends on a number of factors. For us, the distance we need to travel to your home, how the pet has been buried and whether or not you are opting for cremation following the exhumation will all affect the price. The exhumation itself can cost anywhere from £80 to £150 depending on the size of the pet. In some cases, we have to conduct a Same Day cremation service due to the condition of the remains.
Here’s what we need to know to give you a quote to uplift your pet:
- The exact burial location
- The depth the body is buried at
- What the pet has been buried in, i.e. in a box, wrapped in a blanket, etc.
- The approximate date the pet was buried
- Type of soil the pet is buried in
- Whether you would like a cremation following the exhumation
What to do after pet exhumation
Once your pet’s remains have been uplifted you have a few options. You can choose to re-bury them either in a new spot or at a new property. Alternatively, we can transport them back to Dignity and carry out an individual cremation. You can have their ashes scattered here in our Gardens of Remembrance, or returned to you in an urn or casket of your choice. We offer lot’s of keepsake and memorial options to help you remember your pet including memorial stones for the garden, ashes jewellery and photo frame caskets.