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Cremation Services upon the Death of a Companion Animal: Views of Service Providers and Service Users

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There is no systematic research on the rites and rituals associated with companion animal death in modern Australian society. Three cremation service providers were interviewed and asked to consider which caretakers have their companion animals cremated. Seven people who had recently had a companion animal cremated were then asked about their views on the process. Five interrelated themes emerged from the two data sets about who uses cremation services for companion animals: “Everyone uses companion animal cremation services”; “People who consider the companion animal as a family member, as a child”; “People who want memorials for their companion animals”; “Grieving people”; and “People who seek compassion and social support.” With scant recognition of the impact of companion animal death and the role of rites and rituals in facilitating the grieving process, further research in the area is needed, including into attachment as a possible mediator.

Affiliations: 1: University of Adelaide South Australia, Email:


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