Pet crematorium with 'goodbye room' to open at Harrogate's Stonefall Cemetery

A pet crematorium complete with a "goodbye room" for grieving owners is set to open at Harrogate's Stonefall Cemetery.

By Jacob Webster
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 9:24 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 9:26 am
Stonefall Cemetery. Photo: Google.
Stonefall Cemetery. Photo: Google.

Harrogate Borough Council has today passed its own proposals for the facility which has been described as "much needed" due to a lack of pet crematoriums in the area.

The crematorium will be built inside a converted shipping container, while a storage building will be converted into a "goodbye room" where pet owners can say their final farewells.

John Club, commercial and community development manager at the council, said pet cremations were becoming ever more popular and that the council saw this as an opportunity to meet the growing demand.

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He told a meeting today: "Currently there are something like 1.5million pets living in households across Yorkshire and the Humber.

"Within the Harrogate district, that equates to about 47,000 pets that we love and keep in our homes.

"Sadly around 10% of these animals will pass every year and increasingly pet owners want to ensure there is a dignified and respectful send off for their pets.

"As a result, pet cremations are now becoming more popular and as a local authority we of course have vast experience caring for the bereaved.

"We are therefore very well placed to offer this new service to our residents."

The crematorium will cater for small animals such as rabbits up to large animals including dogs, with the costs expected to range from around £50 to over £200.

Pet owners will be able to ask the council to collect their pets or take them to the crematorium themselves.

Mr Club said the animals would be stored in a freezer if required and that the council was following the lead of other local authorities - including Barnsley - which have opened similar facilities.

He said: "Within the shipping container - which is a standard six metres long - the cremator is probably the size of a very small car.

"And there is space in there to have a chest freezer. It is nothing special, just a really bog standard freezer which will enable the smooth running of the service.

"We visited Barnsley as part of our research for this project and they have a very similar set up."

At today's meeting, councillors unanimously approved the plans for Harrogate.

Councillor Victoria Oldham, who works as a farmer in her Washburn ward, said she was "fully supportive" of the proposals.

She said: "This is much needed in the area and I'm just jolly glad it is coming forward now.

"I'm sure that it will be well used and having the goodbye room will mean an awful lot to pet owners."

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter