Orthopaedic implants from pets recycled for charity

Orthopaedic implants from pets recycled for charity

Dignity Pet Crematorium has become the first pet crematorium in the world to recycle orthopaedic implants from pets to help raise funds for charity.

The scheme was originally set up by the Institute of Cemetery & Crematorium Management (ICCM) who contracted the company OrthoMetals to collect and recycle metals left after people had been cremated. More human crematoria are joining the scheme although many still dispose of orthopaedic implants and metals by burying them at the crematorium or disposing of them at a licensed landfill site. Kevin Spurgeon, 37, said “I am so proud that we are the first pet crematorium in the world to enrol in this very worthwhile scheme. It seems crazy that some human crematoriums still throw away these valuable metals when they can be recycled to benefit charities. So far we have had a very positive reaction from clients, who are pleased that their pet’s implant can benefit others.”

Dignity, winner of Rural Business of the year at the Inspire 2010 awards is competing in the Service Excellence category at this year’s awards after being constantly rated 5 out of 5 by their customers. Kevin added “We do all we can to ease the pain of those needing our unique service and so I hope innovative schemes like this, our new solar panels and our new human ashes scattering service will help boost our chances of becoming a finalist this year.” In the past decade veterinary medicine has improved dramatically and surgical procedures have also become more complex. This has led to a large increase in the amount of animals that have received orthopaedic implants making the scheme far more relevant for pet crematoria.

The scheme is simple. After individual cremation orthopaedic and other metals that are found in the chamber are separated from the cremated remains and the owners are offered the choice of either having the metals recycled through the scheme or, if they prefer, having them returned along with their pet’s ashes. Periodically, all the metal that is recovered is collected and taken for recycling. Kevin explains “We have recovered metals like ball & socket joints and pins, plates and screws used by vets to help repair broken bones on all shapes and sizes of pets”.

Helping Pet Charities 
One of the key principals of the Orthometals scheme is to return a substantial part of the profit to charity. Dignity nominated several small pet charities and Home & Abroad Animal Welfare and Friends of the Strays of Greece were chosen by OrthoMetals as the first to benefit from the scheme. The pet crematorium has chosen to double the amount donated by Orthometals meaning that £155.58 will now be split between the two charities. Kevin said “I am delighted at their choice as we re-homed a Greek dog named Brax from Strays of Greece last year. He is a lovely dog and very much one of the family. Both charities are small but work tirelessly, save countless lives and make a huge difference to the animals with very little money.”

Friends of the strays of Greece – Based in Ringwood, Lyn and Mark Purden have had a holiday home on the Greek island of Aegina for many years, and it was in 1995 that they actively started fundraising to help the animals all over Greece. Their mission statement is ‘To help provide food, shelter and veterinary care to stray and unwanted cats and dogs in Greece’ and since starting they have rehomed countless dogs and cats to loving homes in the UK. http://www.straysofgreece.org/

Home and Abroad Animal Welfare – based in Fleet, Hampshire HAAW has been working for the animals of Sri Lanka since 1999 when founder, Janice Down first visited the country. Janice has always been a staunch advocate for animal welfare and has travelled and worked all over the world. However, she was particularly struck by the plight of the animals in Sri Lanka. There was no welfare legislation in place and at every turn there were animals to be seen in desperate need. Dignity has sponsored the charity’s dog shows for a number of years to help raise welfare standards in Sri Lanka. http://www.homeandabroadanimalwelfare.org/