Shropshire woman's heartbreak over pet crematorium ashes mix-up
A Shropshire dog owner has become embroiled in an investigation into a pet crematorium that is suspected of mixing up ashes and storing dead pets in a freezer.
When Elizabeth Clewes, from Telford, had to make the decision to have her 12-year-old dog Ellie put down she was understandably heartbroken.
But she took comfort from the fact that at least she had the ashes of her pet as a reminder of the times they had shared together.
Now, however, she has been contacted by council officials who had raided the pet crematorium where Ellie was supposed to have been interned, and have told her that her pet's body was still on the premises.
She said: "They told me there had been a number of incidents, I don't know how many.
"They traced me because I had Ellie microchipped and the chip was still in her."
Staffordshire County Council has now confirmed that it is investigating Swan Pit Pet Crematorium in Swan Pit, Gnosall, near Stafford.
The adjoining kennels is not connected to the investigation.
Mrs Clewes, of Horseshoe Paddock, Lawley Bank, said: "It was heartbreaking, but I am one of the lucky ones.
"Because Ellie had been chipped, the council was able to find her and they have now cremated her, so I do have her ashes now."
Mrs Clewes had Ellie put down on October 6, and said that within two days staff at Swan Pit had contacted her saying that the ashes of her beloved pet were ready to be collected.
She was then contacted earlier this month by staff from Staffordshire County Council, who seized the ashes she had been given.
"I don't know what was in them," she said.
Swan Pit owner Alan McMaster said that he could not comment at this stage, but would be prepared to do so once all the legal procedures had been completed.
"There is a third party involved, so it would not be fair for me to comment at this stage," he said.
Staffordshire County Council confirmed it was investigating Swan Pit Pet Crematorium.
Anyone affected is asked to contact Staffordshire County Council's animal health team on (01785) 277875.
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