An Epworth pet crematorium has become the latest operator of its kind to be accredited under a new independent inspection scheme which guarantees a highly professional and dignified send-off for animals.
All Pets At Peace passed a series of vigorous workplace assessments to be awarded a coveted ‘badge of honour’ which sets it apart from other services offering pet cremations.
It is now a condition of membership of the Association of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria that all businesses across the country must achieve ‘Independently Inspected and Approved’ status.
The APPCC decided to introduce the inspections following a spate of alarming press reports about animals being treated in death simply as waste – much to the distress of the owners.
Although these cases have rarely involved APPCC members, the association was keen to establish a system of regulation which would boost public confidence in the pet funeral industry.
Examples of bad practice included a couple who left their beloved dog with their vet for it to be cremated locally, only to discover to their horror that it had been transported with commercial waste to a giant crematorium operating far away on an industrial scale. This was legal but the service fell short of their expectations for a respectful disposal of the remains.
Another woman complained that when her cat was cremated only a ‘mouse’ worth of ashes were returned to her.
The assessments of All Pets At Peace were conducted by The Consultant Connection (TCC) which specialises in consumer code compliance.
Experienced inspectors examined every aspect of the operation, from the way services are described in marketing literature to how costs and options are explained to pet owners.
As well as being satisfied that the pet crematorium was operating legally and efficiently, a key part of the inspection focused on the care and respect given to an animal – from the moment it arrived at the premises to when it was buried or its ashes returned to the owner.
The assessors were also happy that bereaved pet owners are given adequate time to make rational decisions on the type of service which best suits their budgets and requirements.
Brian Askham, owner of All Pets At Peace
“I am absolutely delighted to have been given this special membership status which I hope will reassure people that we adhere to the highest standards possible in terms of customer care and animal handling practice. I was even more delighted that after the inspection 99.9% of what we have been doing for the last 7 years was up to and above the standard required, the only things we had to change was minor wording on our paperwork and on the website.
“We have been operating for 7 years now and are always conscious of the need to behave professionally and with great sensitivity when dealing with people who are distraught at the loss of their much loved companions.
“We see no difference between the loss of a person and an animal in terms of the upset that it causes which is why we always respect and treat people’s pets with the utmost care and dignity on their final journey. Sadly, this doesn’t always happen elsewhere and too often an animal may just be treated as waste to be disposed of, rather than as precious member of someone’s family.”
APPCC vice chairman Steve Mayles, who also had his premises inspected and passed the assessment, said: “It is essential that the inspections are meaningful if we are to win the confidence of the public. The company carrying out the tests has nothing to do whatsoever with the pet funeral industry and it drafted a new consumer code for participating members.
“This code is fully geared towards protecting the public. It has been created from the pet owners’ point of view and has been formed by people with great expertise in consumer rights. Nothing like this has ever been seen before in the pet funeral sector. The inspection process is now a mandatory requirement of membership.”
The APPCC has been setting international standards for the pet funeral industry for over 25 years and boasts international membership. For more information visit appcc.org.uk