Love for animals put to the test by the cost of living

Forced to appeal for donations for dog cremation: Many Britons like David McAuliffe are torn between their love for their pets and the spiraling cost of living.

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how things are going, gas, electricity, grocery prices, fuels, everything is difficult, ”says Mr Mcauliffe, sitting next to his friend Julie Fielding in the animal cemetery in Holywell, in the north. of Wales. Both, who are on social assistance, launched a fundraiser on Facebook to finance the cremation of their dog Khan. They couldn’t have done it alone, given the skyrocketing costs. “Dogs depend on us for everything, and we have to do what is necessary for them, in the end”continues David Mcauliffe.

Pet food and vet fees have increased, as well as the cost of cremations, which track oil prices.

“An individual cremation is when an animal is entirely cremated so that the ashes are returned to their families and they can scatter, bury them or keep them in their homes”, explains the director of the cemetery, Jason Ward. The price of an individual cremation depends on the size of the animal, but reaches 200 pounds (237 euros) for a medium-sized dog.

Otherwise, “the remains are collected with those of other pets”he continues: “Often they are needed in trucks with waste from veterinary clinics, to be dumped in landfills. » A difficult question for many Britons to contemplate, whose attachment to their four-legged friends has grown even stronger during lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The rise in veterinary care prices has also resulted in higher health insurance costs.

Holywell Cemetery bears witness to these very strong links: several plots house the remains of animals and those of their owners. The ashes of Mr Mcauliffe’s mother and Ms Fielding’s sister have already been laid alongside those of Khan and their previous dog, Flash, and the couple would like to join them ” in good time “.

The rise in the prices of veterinary care has also resulted in higher costs for health insurance. “
Whether we make a declaration or not, each year the contributions increase”
summarizes David McAuliffe, calling on the British government to do more against soaring prices.

“It can be problematic, especially when you only receive social assistance”, he says. He and his company have two other dogs.

Often, it is at the end of life that animals protect the most veterinary care: with the costs of burial, it is a double blow for families already in mourning. And some have no choice but to give up a funeral.

Dogs, cats and others “are family members, they contribute enormously to our well-being, and during the pandemic everyone has spent more time with their animals”points out Mr. Ward.

“So the time comes when they die, and the owners can’t afford to say goodbye to them with dignity. It’s an additional cause for sorrow.”he observes.

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