A PET crematorium between Whitchurch and Wem say it is the first, and only so far, business in Shropshire to receive specialist accreditation following an independent inspection.

Coton Meadows Pet & Equine Crematorium, in Coton, received the accreditation which 'guarantees a highly professional and dignified send-off for animals' after it passed a series of vigorous workplace assessments which sets it apart from other services offering pet funerals.

Completion of the inspection has led to Coton Meadows achieving ‘Independently Inspected and Approved’ membership of the Association of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria (APPCC) which introduced the measures following reports of mis-treatment of animals after their cremation.

Karina Rodgers-Hughes, owner/partner at Coton Meadows, admitted they were delighted to have been given this special membership status.

She added: "I hope will reassure people that we adhere to the highest standards possible in terms of customer care and animal handling practice.

"Being animal lovers ourselves, we realise how important it is to treat everybody's pet with the kindness and love they have received throughout their lives.

"We see little difference between the loss of a person and an animal in terms of the upset that it causes which is why we always respect and treat them with the utmost care and dignity on their final journey.

"Sadly, this doesn’t always happen elsewhere.

"We know how painful this loss is and have experienced it many times ourselves so we understand how important it is to feel that you have done your best for your pet right to the very end.

"The chance to attend the cremation is always an option here. It can be reassuring to watch the process and gives total peace of mind to people worried that their pets may not be cremated alone.

"The onus is also on returning a pets ashes to the owner as quickly as possible as we feel this helps the healing process and the feeling of having them home the same day can be of great comfort.

"We would like to offer every animal lover the chance to provide their pet with a dignified farewell while at the same time giving you total peace of mind."

An APPCC spokesman said: "It is essential that the inspections are meaningful if we are to win the confidence of the public."

For more, speak to Karina on 07494 264040 or email karina@shropshirepetcrematorium.co.uk