People often go to great lengths to give their pets a happy home, so when they are gone it’s hardly surprising that many feel like they deserve to be remembered and mourned just like any other member of the family. The UK is often described as a “nation of animal lovers,” and the recent shortage of space in pet cemeteries certainly serves as proof. Even the British armed forces pay tribute to dogs that are retired or killed in action. Due to this shortage of space, memorials are no longer confined to pet cemeteries.
Finding a Suitable Location
Pet cemeteries provide a secure location for ashes, memorials and burials, and are an ideal placement for memorial plaques. A small engraved plaque on a gravestone provides a cheap and maintainable solution; however, just like memorializing people, permission must be sought from local authorities before installing a permanent fixture.
Most local authorities will not allow pet memorials to be installed in public places. This is because what little space available is often reserved for fallen servicemen or pillars of society. Pets are only held in such high regard if their passing has directly affected the local community.
Indoor and Outdoor Plaques
Wood and brass make perfect indoor plaques and urns. Hardwoods, such as pine and oak, are extremely durable and can be stained to blend with virtually any décor style. The most common form of pet memorial is the wooden urn and engraved brass plate, which is often chosen for is cost and ease. This is because permission is not required to cremate a pet.
When deciding on a pet memorial plaque practical issues must be taken into account before making a final decision. For example, plaques in the shape of animals are often placed with the ashes underneath a tree in the garden. In theory permission should be sought; however, authorities will usually tolerate this form of burial providing there is no physical body and that the new owners are informed if the property is to be sold.
Laser engraved metal plaques are cheap to produce. Most companies require a small photograph image, which will be scanned and replicated by a laser. The same techniques can also be used on stone or wood. As technology has improved and become more accessible, prices have gone down and laser engravings are usually the cheapest option.
Hand engraving is generally expensive, but can provide a more personal touch. Sometimes it’s the blemishes and errors that give a memorial character.
Indoor glass memorial plaques are also significantly rising in popularity. Three dimensional images can be engraved on the inside using lasers, which provides a photo-like image quality. These are often the most suitable form of indoor pet memorials due to their cheaper production costs.
Pet memorial plaques can be just as lavish and eloquent as any other. While less money is spent, people will go to great lengths to ensure their pets are respectfully eulogized in a dignified manner.
Image Credit:Pets Remembered
Image Caption: A pet memorial plaque with an embedded ceramic photo.