Wed | Jun 26, 2019

Cremator blasts rogue vets who dump pets’ remains

Published:Monday | May 27, 2019 | 12:09 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer

A pet cremator has lashed out at some Jamaican veterinarians who, he claimed, charge for animal burials, but instead dump the bodies in gullies and open lots.

The accusation is coming from Chris Ingledew, founder of pet crematorium Faithful Friends, which has, to date, conducted more than 920 animal cremations. He has labelled “rogue vets” as unethical and greedy, and wants their practice to end.

“I’m not looking to help my business, I want to inform pet owners that there is an option of cremation. People don’t know because it is new, although it is catching on. I find it disturbing that when vets charge a fee for ‘disposal’, they don’t tell people that the body of their pet will be dumped.

“They tell them, ‘Oh, we will dispose of it’, and the persons – because I’ve spoken to many – assume that the word ‘dispose’ means cremation and that the pet is somehow taken to a place that does cremation, which is not so,” said Ingledew.

The cremator told The Gleaner that some pet owners would have a heart attack if they found out about the indignity with which their pets’ bodies are treated.

FINANCIAL MOTIVES

He argues that even though vets are aware of the close emotional attachment that some people have with their pets, they are often swayed by financial motives.

“If a lot of pet owners really knew, they wouldn’t give the vet the work to dispose of their animal, but they (the vets) won’t tell them because they make money off it and it’s disgusting because they have served these people for like 10-15 years with the dogs, so they know what the dog means to the person. To me, it’s just immoral, it’s unethical, it is sinful, it is a shame, it is greedy, and people need to know,” he said.

“This is what I do for a living. I know and I’m not making this up to hurt anybody,” added Ingledew, who dubbed some animal medics as “dirty”.

Ingledew said he has raised concerns about disposal practices with the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association.

Animal disposal is also a matter of concern for the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). Director of the Spatial Planning Division at NEPA, Leonard Francis, said the agency was currently conducting a study on where dead animals are being buried.

“They want to bury and cremate them and some have gone as far as having funeral services. Your nice dog dies, you don’t want to just throw him away somewhere,” said Francis.

But health and environmental concerns persist.

“When a dog dies from a particular disease, you don’t want that disease to contaminate the soil or go in the groundwater,” said Eromonsele Akhidenor, a research officer at NEPA.

carlene.davis@gleanerjm.com