Thursday, 20 January 2011

Bereaved pet owners - victims of fraud

A serious post today - so if you are looking for laughs maybe skip off to the next blog on your list.

This week the Lady Of The House met some lovely, lovely pet owners - but in very, very sad circumstances.

They were at Derby Crown Court for the trial of a woman who ran a pet crematorium business - until a number of pets she was supposed to have cremated were found dumped in a Derbyshire field back in August 2009.

This woman - whose business was called Peak Pet Cremations (it's closed now) - had a contract with a local veterinary group to handle pet cremations for them.

This week when she appeared in court she changed her previous 'not guilty' plea to 'guilty' to six charges of fraud relating to falsely claiming that she had cremated three dogs, two cats and a guinea pig. She will be sentenced next month.

The Lady Of The House has been covering the news story for the last few days on her Lost & Fond website and if you want to find out more, you can read those stories here

These pet owners have been so brave for nearly 18 months now since the bodies were first found. At one point it looked as if the criminal case might be dropped - but they got their MP involved and fought on.

They still can't understand why this woman did what she did - and they hope there might be some answers when she is sentenced by the Judge and more information comes out.

In the UK we have a wonderful organisation called the Association Of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria (APPCC) which has a code of conduct its members agree to abide by regarding how pet cremations and burials are handled. They have provided a lot of support for the families in this sad case. So has a lovely lady called Dawn Murray who runs her own pet undertaker's service in Scotland and is a trained pet bereavement counsellor.

Kevin Spurgeon, director of the APPCC, said: "This case damages the reputation of the many genuine pet crematoria that help owners through the loss of their pet. Our members adhere to a strict code of practice ensuring that sites are licensed and individual cremations are carried out properly and it is sickening to think that someone has abused the trust of these grieving pet owners at such a vulnerable time."

The families will, of course, never forget the pets they lost. I just hope that they can find peace and some closure after next month's sentencing.

I promise to have a little more of an upbeat post for you tomorrow to round off the week.

Now go and give your pets an extra big hug.


Sue said...

I hope the owners continue to get the help they need. Also that their beloved animals have now been cremated to their wishes.

bbes tribe said...

That is just WRONG!!! We agree with Sue. Hope also they will find peace & closure with the sentencing. It should be a stiff sentence.
Ernie,Sasha,Chica & Mom

Chihuahua Girl said...

Hi Winnie! It is Tina over at Park Avenue Chihuahua. Thanks for visiting us. We are now following you too. What a beautiful blog you have. :-)

So sad to hear of someone taking advantage of bereaving pet owners and in the worst way. I am glad that it is out in the open and that they are prosecuting this woman. Hopefully, it won't ever happen again. Thanks for the post!

So glad we are now friends Winnie! You are too cute for words. :-)

~ Tina

Two Pitties in the City said...

This is so sad. I can't believe how hard this must be for the pet owners who not only lost a pet, but now have to deal with these terrible circumstances. I am glad that this woman was 'found out'.

Trixie, Lily, and Sammy-Joe said...

Why would anyone do that? She must be crazy. We are glad she is in trouble. :(

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

How horrible! And the worst part is that it makes no sense at all! Our hearts go out to the pets' owners.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Anonymous said...

What a sad story. I had Popeye cremated and I couldn't imagine finding out he was dumped somewhere. Disgraceful

Kristine said...

Just brutal. I really hope the sentencing in this case is fair. These poor people... What a thing to find out.

scotsmad said...

Hope she is being named, shamed and hit with a hefty fine! What a horrible thing to do to people who are grieving.

XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

♥I am Holly♥ said...

That is absolutely horrible. We hope she gets fined and throw in jail. We had a vet in this city who lost her license years ago for throwing pets that had passed away in the dumpster. She's back in business and we wonder what she's up to now. People like that should be fined and jailed. We are so very sorry for the people who lost their pets there. Lots of love, Holly and mom

K9friend said...

What a sad story. Hopefully justice will take its course.


Mr. Pip said...

Oh, this is just awful! We had a similar situation near us a few years ago. I hope this woman is punished for her actions.

Your pal, Pip

Benny and Lily said...

Oh my.. so sad..
Benny & Lily

houndstooth said...

How sad! We hope that the families who lost pets and then were defrauded by this woman can find some closure with her conviction!


Oskar said...

What a sad situation.

thanks for posting about it.


Lavi said...

That is just horrible... Really, if that woman wanted to commit fraud, she shouldn't have taken advantage of the poor people who lost their pets.

I'm glad that, in the end, justice will be done.