Award winning Dignity Pet Crematorium was due to be featured on not 1 but 2 TV programmes within a few weeks of each other.
Friday (16th August 2013) the family run service featured on Channel 4’s 4Thought series as the programme asks “Do pets deserve funerals?”. Two of Dignity’s clients are featured talking about their emotions and how the pet crematorium’s individual cremation service helped them through their loss.
Reverend Brian Anderson, a Church of England minister and lifelong bachelor chose Dignity Pet Crematorium to look after his dog Toffee and is saving her ashes to have them buried with him when he dies. Rev Brian knows that animals aren’t allowed in consecrated ground so he intends to be buried in a natural burial ground instead of a Christian cemetery but he thinks God probably won’t mind. Rev Brian, from Southampton, also conducts both pet and human funerals for people and has blessed the Gardens at the Hampshire Pet Crematorium.
Returning clients Dee & Brian Hudson are filmed bringing their 17 year old cat Smartie to Dignity for a pet funeral service. They chose to use Dignity’s service for their second cat even though they had moved to Somerset as they felt the pet crematorium’s service gave them proper closure and a dignified end for Smartie.
Kevin Spurgeon says “After being filmed for the Channel4 show I was approached by a programme called “Farm Fixer”. They asked whether I wanted to help them by going over to Ireland and troubleshooting a pet crematorium that was being aided by the show and I said yes!”
The show, whose second series will be shown initially on BBC1 NI, before being repeated on BBC2, is presented by Nick Hewer (star of The Apprentice and Countdown) and helps farms wanting to diversify.
Kevin explains “The producer wanted me to give the owners of Pets Farewell Crematorium, based near Belfast, the benefit of my experience of running an award winning pet cremation service. When I flew over it was a pretty intense day. Like us they found that many vets don’t offer their more personal service and only offer clients a basic “ashes back” option provided by the weekly firm they contract to. I gave them lots of pointers and suggested they looked at letting owners know they could choose their more local service instead of just leaving their pet at the vet.”
Karen & Ian, who run Pets Farewell in County Armagh, were invited by Kevin to pay a return visit to Dignity a few weeks later. Karen said “Ian and I were so impressed with all that you do and both your care and attention to detail are amazing. Thank you so much for letting us visit– the pet owners around you don’t know how lucky they are! We’ve come away with so many plans!”
This summer the pet crematorium celebrates its 21st anniversary and is planning a grand opening of their new Remembrance Walkway later in the year.
Kevin says “Hopefully the programmes will show off all the hard work we’ve put in to try and make both our service and our facilities the best in the country!”