AFTER experiencing the loss of her beloved dog, a Tynedale woman has been inspired to open the county’s only pet crematorium.

Paula Parsons first had the idea around a year ago, but the plan, which has involved waiting for planning permission and transforming a building on her partner’s farm near Birtley, has just come to fruition and she has now opened Northumbria Pet Crematorium.

She said the idea came to her after her black Labrador, Brae, died a year ago. She said: “Because we live on a farm we have ground to bury the dogs on, but it was just a conversation we had which started all of this, where we were saying if we hadn’t had anywhere to bury her we would have had to get her cremated.

“That was the spark for the idea and then I started looking in to it and discovered there’s no other pet crematorium in Northumberland.”

Paula explained that the incinerator she has would be suitable for anything from a mouse to a large dog. People can choose whether they would rather bring their pet to the crematorium themselves, or whether they would like Paula to pick the animal up.

“If somebody’s dog dies in the middle of the night they can ring me and I will be there to pick it up. It’s the sort of thing some people want dealt with quickly.”

Meanwhile, the focus is on giving a caring experience to customers, with a farewell room for those who choose to drop their pets off and want to say goodbye. There is also a varied choice of urns.

For Paula, the business will fit around life on the farm where she and her partner rear pheasants. Starting up has partly been possible thanks to grant funding from the Rural Development Programme for England: LEADER project.

She added: “I have always had dogs and animals so I understand the attachment people have with them.

“It’s dealing with a loss which is not much different to dealing with human loss, and we want to make that as easy as possible for people.”