Finding a fitting farewell
By BIANCA CLARE
SAYING goodbye to the family pet is often a traumatic experience. But the death of a puss or a pooch also brings with it a diffi- cult decision, one with which many people may not be prepared to deal. That is the decision of how to handle your pet's remains. Many pet owners opt to bury the animal on their property and feel a burial is a fitting final act of farewell. But what happens if you live in an apartment or you rent? Susanne Bark, at Pacific Vet- care, says there are three main options to choose from when it comes to the handling of your pet's remains. "If you are unable to bury your animal at home, you can leave its body at the veterinary clinic, where they will dispose of it for a fee between $29 and $37," she said. "The second option is crema- tion or using a pet cemetery. "This is becoming more and more popular with people who see their animal as a lifelong friend." Andrew Pittaway from Cedar- dale Park Pet Crematorium and Garden Cemetery at Lismore says people often see this as a digni- fied choice. "Cremation can usually be done within the day and our clients can be assured that only one pet is cremated at a time," he said . "Some people keep the pet's ashes in a decorative urn and others scatter them in a way that symbolises setting the pet free. "A lot of older people are also requesting in their will that when their pet dies, their animal be cremated and then buried with them, which is the only legal way to be buried with your pet in Australia. Cremation can cost around $360 depending on whether we personally pick up and deliver the pet." The final option, Susanne sug- gests, is asking a close friend if you can bury our pet on their property. "A personal burial provides the opportunity to create a permanent memorial to one's pet," she said. "Some even choose to put a statue or tree over the pet's grave to serve as a tribute." Media officer for Coffs Harbour City Council, Sara Hinds, says when burying your pet it is im- portant to make sure it doesn't pose a public or environmental health risk. "Avoid burying near waterways and make sure the grave is deep enough as to not be disturbed by other animals," she said.