One woman’s wish to be buried with her pet has prompted a community southwest of London to review the regulations.
When a woman in Dutton-Dunwich decided she wanted to keep her cherished relationship with her pet – for eternity – it triggered a lot of questions.
Now the request, made of a cemetery just outside the Village of Dutton, has prompted the town to order a staff report on the broader issue.
Mayor Bob Purcell explains, “The request was, ‘Could they bury a pet with a body in our cemetery?’”
The woman had started her quest by calling a local funeral home, but likely wasn’t happy with the answer.
Susan van den Dries at Arn Funeral Home, explains that pets, “are not to be buried in the local cemetery. It's a local bylaw."
Provincial laws are the same, but politicians in Dutton-Dunwich decided they want to be prepared for the ‘what ifs’ should people eventually be allowed to be buried with their pets.
"How do you handle it? Would they all have to be in their own containers? Can they be in the casket with the human body?” Purcell asks. “There's a lot of questions you should get clarity around, or have some idea how to approach those issues."
Both Purcell and van den Dries agree the issue is likely to keep coming up, and not just in their community.
"I can see it going towards this because there are a lot of service dogs out there, that are a big help to people and they mean a lot to them," van den Dries says.
Dutton-Dunwich officials say they’re not ready to question provincial pet burial laws, but after all, there’s an eternity for change to happen.