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Garden of rest set up for Sunderland’s pets

Rev Nick Barr-Hamilton blesses the Garden of Remembrance for pets at My Pet Stop on Follingsby Lane, Washington.

Rev Nick Barr-Hamilton blesses the Garden of Remembrance for pets at My Pet Stop on Follingsby Lane, Washington.

PET lovers now have a special place for their precious animals when they die.

A Washington boarding kennels has opened a garden of rest, where owners can now scatter their pets’ ashes and buy plaques for a wall of remembrance.

Mypetstop, in Follingsby Lane, launched the tranquil resting place, as part of a revamp of the centre.

Fatfield vicar Nick Barr-Hamilton officially blessed the garden, which has been used as a cemetery for more 20 years.

It was originally able to host animal burials and is the final resting place of about 140 pets.

Dogs, cats, guinea pigs and even a goat are buried at the site, and the ashes of two pet owners have also been scattered there – including a woman and her 19 cats.

The garden is no longer able to accept burials and fell out of use in 2000, until centre manager Mark Brown suggested reopening it.

Owner Catherine Nelson, who bought the business 18 months ago, backed the idea, as she believes the garden is important for animal lovers.

She said: “You want to do something to show yourself that they meant something to your life, and they make such a big impact.

“People do care so much for their pets – sometimes they are closer than their families.”

Visitors to the opening ceremony also had the chance to win prizes in a raffle and buy cakes and hanging baskets to help raise funds to maintain the garden, which has its own gardener.

As part of its revamp, the centre has also opened a “pet walk”, where people can stroll with their dogs and take a rest at a park with picnic tables.

 

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