Recently, my coworker’s cat passed away. And while she was fortunate that her kitty died peacefully in her home, she quickly realized she was unaware of BC’s pet burial and cremation rules and restrictions – were there any?
It’s important to know that BC’s cemetery and funeral services laws (enforced by us), speak to human, not animal, remains. While Consumer Protection BC doesn’t have oversight over the pet cremations or burials, we always want to equip consumers with helpful information! Here are a couple of things that we learned through our research into this subject:
What should I know before selecting a cremation option for my pet?
At a time of grief, it can be difficult to make a decision. Don’t be afraid to ask questions: are you being offered a communal or private cremation, and what are the costs for each? How much does the memorial urn cost, if applicable, and can you bring your own? Or are there other options?
Are there laws that speak to pet cemeteries?
The cemetery and funeral services laws we oversee speak to human, not animal remains, and we are unaware of any laws that speak specifically to the protection of pet cemeteries within BC. If you’re planning to lay your pet to rest in a designated pet cemetery, it’s important to understand what the contract says about the site’s perpetuity or longevity. Can the property be used for other purposes under certain circumstances, or will it be protected forever?
Can I bury my pet in my backyard?
It appears that the answer to this question may depend on your specific municipality, as rules seem to vary from region to region. Call your City Hall, local humane society or your local animal control office to check.