- December 16, 2019
- Posted by: Academy Funeral Services
- Category: Funeral Trends
Losing a pet is a sad but inevitable part of pet ownership. Just as when a person dies, there are practical decisions that need to be made. In Australia, options for your pet’s remains include:
- Burial in a pet cemetery
- Cremation and memorial plaque
- Scattering your pet’s ashes
- Urn with your pet’s ashes
- Donating your pet’s body to science
- Backyard burial
Even though there is increasing demand for joint human-animal burials, there aren’t any funeral homes for pets and owners in operation in NSW.
Pet Burial Laws
Backyard burial is a popular option for taking care of a pet’s remains, and while there is no law preventing you from doing so, it’s not always the best idea. As this article from the abc points out, burying a pet in the backyard can be hazardous. One of the major risks is the anaesthetic used to put animals to sleep – pentobarbital – which can still be present in the buried body up to a year later. If another animal ingests some of the remains it is highly likely they will either become seriously ill or die.
Joint human-animal burial isn’t illegal in Australia, but at the time of writing, we couldn’t find any providers offering this service in Australia. However, more and more funeral homes around the world are starting to offer this service, so perhaps it won’t be too long before it becomes an option in Australia.
Human and Pet Burial
As funeral rituals and funeral planning changes, more people are starting to ask whether their pet can be buried with them. We discovered funeral homes for pets and owners in Montreal and Missouri providing shared spaces for humans and animals to rest together side by side.
The new columbarium in Missouri, part of the Natchez Trace Funeral Home, has been named “footprints and paws”, to highlight the important role that pets play in our lives
“My cats are, and extension to, they’re exactly like my children. I take care of them, I feed them, I give them water, so therefore they need to be memorialized the same way you would a human”
– funeral home consultant Brittany Maugh
With the passing of a new law earlier this year, animal lovers in Hamburg will also be able to be buried with their pets. Planning is already underway for an area to be set aside in one of the city’s cemeteries solely for pet and pet owner burials. It is hoped the first human and pet burial will take place next year.