Current Affairs
‘It is a nice thing to keep the pet’s ashes….at least it will remain with us in the family’

The Island Sanctuary is receiving a great demand for the incineration of animals, with pet owners having to wait three weeks to received the ashes of their pet.

Meanwhile, while many persons are taking the ashes at home, the Government will be building an animal cemetery in Ta’ Qali. TVM is informed that various companies have shown their interest in the project.

TVM met the owner of a dog who went to the Island Sanctuary facility in Marsaxlokk to collect the ashes of her pet which died a few weeks ago.

“It is a nice thing…at least it will remain with us in the family. Ultimately, it was part of the family”.

The arrival of the incinerator for animals in 2018 solved the problem of animal owners who had to find a way to dispose of their deceased pets.

Claire Gafa, who runs the Island Sanctuary, said that over 2,000 animals were cremated during the past two and a half years.  “We carry out some four cremations a week. We have a waiting list of three weeks, that is currently we have bookings for the whole of March”.

Ms Gafa stated that when a pet dies, it is kept in a freezer at a vet or at private contractors who will then transport it to the facility.

Lycia Mallia, a volunteer, said that temperature inside the incinerator reaches over 1,000 grad celcius and they only cremate domestic animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits and reptiles, according to the facility’s permit.

Ms Mallia added that the cremation process lasts some five hours. “We have to present a report to ERA, with the amount of cremations, ashes and details of the animals”.

The Island Sanctuary currently gives shelter to some 60 dogs, the majority adult pets, who have no home.

Meanwhile, the pledge for an animal cemetery is still on the government’s agenda. A spokeswoman for the Animal Rights Ministry said that eight consortia expressed interess for the development of an animal cemetery in the area known as Ta’ San Gakbu in Ta’ Qali. The cemetery is expected to be for dogs and cats, according to plans presented by the Planning Authority some years ago.